It's the latest sign of turmoil at the agency, which is locked in a leadership battle after its outgoing director and President Donald Trump both appointed successors to lead the independent agency.
Acting Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Mick Mulvaney is looking to add more political appointees to the agency's ranks in the near future, pairing them with senior civil servants in areas such as supervision, regulations, and enforcement.
"CoA Institute's FOIA seeks all records reflecting the number of CFPB devices on which encrypted messaging applications were installed, internal policy guidelines on the use of such apps, as well as the communications themselves and efforts by CFPB to recover and archive these messages", the request reads. Mr. Mulvaney said he had removed the hold on Wednesday - the day the agency was scheduled to make one of its twice-annual allocation decisions - and approved the dispersal of payments.
Relying on the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which created the CFPB in 2010, English became acting director when her predecessor, Richard Cordray announced his resignation on November 15. "I don't like the fact that CFPB exists, I'll be perfectly honest with you", Mulvaney had said. The acting director placed a moratorium on the approval of payments to some financial crime victims, froze hiring and all new rules and regulations, and called for a reviews of all active investigations and litigation.
Mulvaney has already brought in Brian Johnson, a former aide to House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), to be a senior aide at the bureau. Under the succession language in Dodd-Frank, the deputy director steps in as the CFPB's acting director in the "absence or unavailability" of the director.
The general counsel for the CFPB sided with the Trump administration on the matter.
A judge rejected English's emergency filing to install her as the agency's leader, but Wednesday's new filing sets the stage for her to continue the legal fight in higher courts.
Trump "wants to move expeditiously" on naming a permanent replacement but the Senate confirmation process is likely to take some time and Mulvaney expects to be in the interim role for up to seven months, he said in an interview Reuters.
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