A Trump-appointed lawyer was fired by President Joe Biden on Friday after she refused to step down from office. Sharon Gustafson served on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as its general counsel during Trump's administration. The agency is responsible for the investigation of workplace sex discrimination and retaliation.
Trump-appointed lawyer refused to resign
According to an email which was published by the Ethics and Policy Center, the Trump-appointed lawyer was asked by the Biden administration to resign. However, Gustafson reportedly declined the request respectfully, in a letter that was dated March 5.
Moreover, The Hill reported that Gustafson wanted to serve her full four-year term until 2023. In the letter that she addressed to Biden, she stated that she was asked to fulfill the term when she was nominated for the position and that she intends to honor her commitment.
Meanwhile, responding to the letter sent by Gustafson, the Office of Presidential Personnel deputy director, Gautum Raghavan, sent an email to the Trump-appointed lawyer that by the end of the day on Friday, she would be terminated from her position. The termination of Gustafson earned the ire of another EEOC personnel who was also appointed by former President Trump, Andrea Lucas.
In a tweet, Lucas stated that she found the action that the Biden administration took as troubling, she added that it was a break from the norms that have long been established by presidents coming from both parties. She also stated that the move was an injection of partisanship in a place where it has always been absent and that the firing of the Trump-appointed lawyer only showed what Biden and his administration view "unity" as.
According to Business Insider, it is common for a new president to appoint their own people to every White House position upon inauguration. It is also typical for the staff which was appointed by the previous administration to step down from their posts voluntarily.
The new administration's chief of staff, usually asks more than 4,000 appointees of the preceding president to hand in their resignation letters. However, Gustafson pointed out in her letter that with respect to the EEOC, she is not aware of anyone who has been asked to resign.
The Trump-appointed lawyer also stated in her letter that she does not know of any previous EEOC General Counsel who was fired for being appointed by a different political party. In response to the firing of Gustafson, Republican lawmaker, Virginia Foxx also condemned Biden's move, calling it an "unprecedented firing of an honorable public official," Bloomberg reported.
Foxx also stated that Biden's actions are directly opposite to his calls of ending "partisan warfare." She also added that Biden is demanding Senate-confirmed officials to resign in order to make way for his friends.
Moreover, Foxx added that Biden should take a page from the book of the Trump-appointed lawyer who stuck to the commitment she made and did not cave in the pressure of partisan warfare. She also said that Gustafson's firing should immediately be rescinded. Meanwhile, the White House is yet to comment on the issue.