Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest group that advocates transparency in government, has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to obtain records detailing President Obama's Jan. 4 recess appointment of Richard Cordray as the agency's first director.
According to a statement issued by Judicial Watch, the group initially submitted an FOIA request to the CFPB on Jan. 12 seeking access to all records of communications between the agency and the Executive Branch concerning the recess appointment of Cordray and the president's Jan. 6 visit to the CFPB's offices. Judicial Watch submitted a second FOIA request on Jan. 25 to the CFPB seeking communications concerning Cordray's appointment, as well as information regarding reimbursements, reservations, vouchers and any other documentation reflecting travel and lodging for Cordray, his family, any additional guests and the Ohio judge who administered Cordray's oath of office in Washington, D.C.
‘The CFPB has failed to fully respond to Judicial Watch's requests within the statutory allotted time frame, prompting Judicial Watch's lawsuit,’ the group says.
Judicial Watch is also questioning the legality of the recess appointment, noting that Congress was in pro forma session on Jan. 4. Judicial Watch adds that it has already obtained CFPB documents ‘indicating Cordray himself recognized questions about the constitutionality of his own appointment.’
‘Given the Obama administration's penchant for secrecy, I am not at all surprised we have to file a lawsuit to obtain these records on this scandalous appointment,’ says Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. ‘The Cordray appointment is an abuse of office that disregards the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. Senate's role in vetting presidential appointments. I'm sure the president would rather all details regarding his unlawful decision be kept under lock and key, but we intend to hold the Obama administration accountable to the rule of law.’