Leandra English, the new acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau appointed by outgoing director Richard Cordray over the Thanksgiving weekend, has filled a key role during many of the crises that have gripped the six-year agency, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation.
English was a key aide during the agency’s first, formative year in office, and she helped set up the agency with now-Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren as part of the Department of the Treasury’s “implementation team” that formed the bureau.
English, along with Warren, spearheaded a culture of secrecy within the bureau that appears to permeate throughout the agency and would later infuriate Congress.
Warren and the Democratic Congress housed CFPB inside the Federal Reserve, which is independent of Congress.
The transfer of CFPB into the Fed allowed the bureau to circumvent congressional oversight. Even its annual budget is outside of the regular congressional budget authorization process.
Sources within the bureau say English actively promoted that effort of secrecy early in the bureau’s actual operations.
Emails obtained by the conservative group Judicial Watch show English established meetings without any notification to the public and meetings that specifically barred press.
The Judicial Watch emails also show English was active in arranging private meetings with special interests that were largely liberal and progressive activist groups.