Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
As a Republican congressman, new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Mick Mulvaney called the CFPB a "joke." Photo: Reuters

Update, Nov. 27, 7:15 p.m.: Prosecutors at the Department of Justice were expected to file an order on Monday evening to respond to Leandra English’s lawsuit. Trump-appointed Judge Timothy Kelly said he would review the DOJ’s order and decide how to move forward.

CNN’s Erin Burnett, host of Erin Burnett OutFront, reported that the judge is holding off on making his decision.

Mulvaney's communications director tweeted a picture of him "hard at work as acting director" with the bureau’s transition briefing handbook on his desk.

English planned to meet later on Monday with senior Senate Democrats, including Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, her office said.

 

As Mulvaney was getting settled in, a source told Reuters, CFPB general counsel Mary McLeod sent a memo to the CFPB's legal division agreeing with the U.S. Justice Department that Trump had the power to appoint Mulvaney as temporary leader of the watchdog.

Late on Sunday, English sued the Trump administration, seeking to block Mulvaney's appointment. The move means a federal court will decide which law applies when filling a temporary leadership vacancy at the relatively new agency.

Update, Nov. 27, 5 p.m.: 

Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s pick for director of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, spoke to reporters about the conflict between him and “acting director” Leandra English.

Here are the highlights:

Original article: Trump's pick for watchdog consumer agency walked in with a box of doughnuts saying he's boss

You’re getting ready to take over a top spot in a governmental agency that has an acting head. You, who previously called the agency a “joke” and didn’t see a reason for it to exist, were smart enough not to forget the doughnuts. That was the sweet move made by former congressman Mick Mulvaney after he was appointed to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Why was there a vacancy at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?

Richard Cordray stepped down as Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director on Friday and named his chief of staff Leandra English as his temporary replacement. A few hours later, Trump named the director of the Office of Management and Budget (and critic of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) Mulvaney boss.

English filed a lawsuit asserting that she is the “rightful acting director” and asked for a temporary restraining order to keep Trump from appointing Mulvaney, The Washington Post reported. District Judge Timothy Kelly, one of Trump’s two new D.C. appointees, is slated to hear the case at 4:30 p.m.

Mulvaney and English both issued statements on Monday morning indicating they were in charge of the 1,600-employee CFPB.

The battle over the small agency will lay bare deep divisions between Republicans and Democrats over how tightly to control a banking industry that taxpayers had to bail out to the tune of $700 billion less than a decade ago.

Hold up... What is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?

According to an Obama White House archive:

"The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created to make sure that the financial products and services that Americans depend on every day —including credit cards, mortgages, and loans—work better for the people who use them.

"Established by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, CFPB is charged with overseeing the Federal financial laws that specifically protect consumers—people who keep their money in banks and credit unions, pay for goods and services with their credit cards, and rely on loans to buy homes or pay for college, among other services.

"The Bureau is tasked with making sure people understand the fine print that explains the risks involved in using these services, and ensuring the banks, credit unions, and other financial companies that provide them play by the rules."

Time to make the doughnuts.

English sent an email in which she welcomed staff back from the Thanksgiving holiday and signed off as "acting director," according to a source.

But Republican Mulvaney quickly installed himself in Cordray's former office and stood his ground, writing an hour later:

"Please disregard any instructions you receive from Ms. English in her presumed capacity as Acting Director," he said in a staff memo seen by Reuters. "If you receive additional communications from her today ... please inform the General Counsel."

Mulvaney also signed off as "acting director" and invited staff to pop by his fourth-floor office to "grab a donut."

Mulvaney’s spokesman later sent out a photo evidence on Twitter of empty boxes with half of a single chocolate covered doughnut remaining.

Metro found an offer on Twitter for those employees who need something a little harder after a controversial Monday:

Trump, a Republican, campaigned for president saying Wall Street "gets away with murder," but at the same time promised to defang or abolish the CFPB, the brainchild of progressive Sen. Elizabeth Warren that was championed by President Barack Obama.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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