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Politics Spicer sues Biden over ‘illegal’ firing from Navy Academy board

09:00  24 september  2021
09:00  24 september  2021 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

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Two former top aides to former President Donald Trump have sued President Joe Biden over his “illegal” powerplay to fire them from key military academy boards.

a sign in front of a brick building © Provided by Washington Examiner

Former spokesman Sean Spicer and budget chief Russ Vought said in court documents shared with Secrets that the White House does not have any authority over the boards and that the law states that members leave only when their three-year term is up, they resign or die.

The suit was filed for the duo by America First Legal. In a statement, it said, “This illegal partisan power-grab is just another example of the Biden administration breaking longstanding bipartisan norms and traditions.”

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Earlier this month, as the White House sought to divert attention from their Afghan withdrawal blunders and escalating border crisis, officials moved to terminate 18 Trump officials and allies on military academy boards.

In a blunt letter from the White House personnel office, Spicer, Vought and the others -- including former senior counselor Kellyanne Conway -- were told to resign that day or be terminated.

Most did not. Conway told Biden, “I'm not resigning ... but you should."

The media jumped in on behalf of the Biden White House, arguing that the president should have the last say on the boards since it named those on it.

But it soon became clear that the boards were created by Congress not the White House and included the membership rules which the Biden officials either didn’t know about or purposefully tried to violate.

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Spicer, a captain in the U.S. Naval Reserves, had only three months left to serve on the Board of Visitors to the U.S. Naval Academy so targeting him was especially petty. Vought was a more recent appointee.

Sean Spicer looking at the camera: Sean Spicer receiving his diploma from the U.S. Naval War College. Spicer family photo © Provided by Washington Examiner Sean Spicer receiving his diploma from the U.S. Naval War College. Spicer family photo

In an effort to shame the Trump allies off the boards, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki questioned the qualifications and values of Spicer and the former Trump aides, an unusual assault on her predecessors that Spicer said smeared their military and government service.

Gene Hamilton, America First Legal vice president and general counsel, said, "For a president who has pledged to unify the country, terminating two highly qualified individuals from serving on this board instead of focusing on the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan that left Americans stranded, is clearly an attempt to distract the American people. The administration is clearly trying to avoid the oversight that Congress set out to achieve."

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He also called Spicer and Vought patriots and added, “President Biden’s threatened dismissal of them from the purely advisory Board of Visitors -- an entity that exercises no executive power whatsoever -- violates the law. Our clients have every right to serve every single day remaining in their terms. But even if the Biden administration prevails in its arguments, President Biden has perhaps unwittingly created a precedent that will be followed by all future administrations.”

Mark Meadows, Donald Trump standing next to a man in a suit and tie: President Donald Trump's budget chief Russ Vought has joined with Sean Spicer to sue the Biden White House over their military academy board memberships. Evan Vucci/AP © Provided by Washington Examiner President Donald Trump's budget chief Russ Vought has joined with Sean Spicer to sue the Biden White House over their military academy board memberships. Evan Vucci/AP

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Original Author: Paul Bedard

Original Location: Spicer sues Biden over ‘illegal’ firing from Navy Academy board

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