NY federal credit union sues Trump, Mulvaney over “illegal takeover” of CFPB

by Paolo Taruc08 Dec 2017
A New York federal credit union has taken President Donald Trump and acting Consumer Financial Protection Bureau chief Mick Mulvaney to court over what it believes to be an “illegal takeover” of the watchdog.

The CFPB has been embroiled in a succession dispute since its former chief Richard Cordray resigned last month. Before stepping down, he appointed Leandra English as deputy director to ensure a “smooth transition.” But the Trump administration disagreed with the move and instead appointed Mick Mulvaney as acting CFPB director.

Lawyers of the Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union filed the suit in a federal court in Manhattan on Tuesday. The union has blasted Trump’s decision to appoint Mulvaney, as the latter is an at-will White House employee. Mulvaney has also been a harsh critic of the CFPB, and once called it a “sad, sick joke.”

“This is a naked, illegal power grab by Donald Trump to destroy an agency that helps and protects millions of ordinary Americans,” said Ilann Maazel, lead counsel for the credit union.

Opponents of Trump’s move faced a major setback last week after a judge declined to issuer a restraining order against it and instead upheld Mulvaney’s appointment.

“We support the CFPB as a protector of our low-income members’ financial rights, and fear that the appointment of an acting director beholden to the White House could result in upheaval and ultimate dissolution of this critical agency,” said Linda Levy, CEO of the credit union. “Having experienced the devastation that the 2008 mortgage crisis wreaked on our low-income members, we need the CFPB to protect communities targeted by financial predators.”

Related stories:
Democrats not backing down against Trump’s CFPB pick
Legal dispute brewing over CFPB leadership