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Biden administration works to clean house of Trump appointees

February 6, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 18.6%. 2 min read.

Battle lines are forming across Washington as the Biden administration grapples with how to handle dozens of Trump loyalists the former President installed after the election. Over the past two weeks, the new administration has made an effort to remove a number of Trump appointees across various government agencies and boards. While some have gone quietly, others have not, raising questions about the legal authority President Joe Biden holds in removing his predecessor's appointees, and how successful he will be in rooting out people he doesn't want.

Over the past two weeks, the new administration has made an effort to remove a number of Trump appointees across various government agencies and boards.

On Wednesday, Roger Severino, a Trump appointee to the Council of the Administrative Conference of the United States, sued in DC district court to seek an injunction to prevent his removal from the council on the basis that the President has no authority to terminate his appointment.

"The Biden administration is conducting a thorough review of holdover appointees on councils, commissions, and advisory boards," White House spokesperson Michael Gwin said.

While positions in federally funded organizations like Voice of America and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks are full-time and salaried, of eight other federal boards, councils or commissions CNN contacted for this article, only members of three -- the Federal Service Impasses Panel, the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and the National Capital Planning Commission -- are compensated.

Though the Biden administration's strategy appears in some cases to attempt to do away completely with advisory boards and panels in order to build them back from scratch, including those that require a security clearance, it may prove difficult for Biden to successfully undo Trump's flurry of appointments to many of the prestigious boards and councils that are a permanent part of  the Washington, DC, social scene.

William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board; Matt Schlapp, a Republican lobbyist whose appointment to the Library of Congress Trust Fund Board was announced in early December; and Nick Luna, Trump's body man, who is now on the US Holocaust Memorial Council along with Rudy Giuliani's son.

In conversations with individuals across multiagency boards and commissions, some appointees told CNN they have been left in the dark about the status of their appointments and have not heard anything from the new Biden administration.

Individuals on several government boards contacted by CNN said recent appointments made under the Trump administration are expected to remain on the boards.

Four new members were appointed to the arts commission in the final days of the Trump administration, replacing Obama-era members whose terms had expired and were eligible for replacement, according to Luebke.

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