Trump's swampiest move yet
As the Intercept's David Dayen reported, Steven Engel, the Justice Department lawyer who wrote the memo justifying Trump's takeover, was a lead counsel for Canadian payday lender NDG Financial, which the CFPB cited for misleading and overcharging U.S. customers. The Intercept reported that Engel was active in the case, which remains in court, until August -- after he was nominated to serve in the administration.
It's difficult to imagine something swampier than a corporate lawyer joining the government and then orchestrating the disarming of a federal agency in litigation with his former client.
There's nothing the forgotten man, thus swindled by Trump, can do now to keep big banks from regaining the upper hand over consumers. Outside CFPB headquarters, the demonstrators were doing about the only thing that could be done: shouting. They attempted to settle on a rallying cry, alternating between "Put consumers first/Mulvaney is the worst" and "Hey-hey, ho-ho, Mick Mulvaney has got to go."
Warren, declaring that "no one should get cheated," punched the air with her fist and pounded the lectern so hard that she sent a digital recorder crashing to the ground.
Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., attempted a call-and-response with the crowd: "There is a legitimate director right now, and that person's name is?"
From the confused audience came a muffled sound akin to "Mush!"
"English," Merkley coached. "Leandra English."
The judge gave a different answer. And the federal government, soon to be out of the business of policing abusive lenders, will instead deliver them doughnuts.
Follow Dana Milbank on Twitter, @Milbank.
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