The administration asked Donald Trump's appointees to leave or be fired.
Former officials of his administration who were appointed by former President Donald Trump to military academy boards — some just before he left office in January — received letters from the Biden administration on Wednesday telling them either to resign their positions or be fired at 6 p.m. Wednesday evening.
Among those who received letters were Sean Spicer, the former White House press secretary, and Russ Vought, the former director of the Office of Management and Budget. Vought notably refused to comply when subpoenaed to testify during Trump's first impeachment.
Both Spicer and Vought confirmed they received letters telling them to resign by posting them to Twitter.
The letters were in the form of a text from Catherine M. Russell, the director of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel, reading:
On behalf of President Biden, I am writing to request your resignation as a Member of the Board of Visitors to the U.S. Naval Academy. Please submit your resignation to me by the close of business today. Should we not receive your resignation, your position with the Board will be terminated effective 6:00 p.m. tonight. Thank you.
In his tweet, Vought refused to resign, saying, "No. It's a three year term."
Spicer didn't say whether he planned to resign, instead teasing "My response tonight" on his program on the right-wing Newsmax network.
CNN reported that other former Trump administration officials also received letters, including former adviser Kellyanne Conway and former national security adviser H.R. McMaster.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed that the letters were sent and that Conway was among those who received them.
When asked by a reporter at the daily White House press briefing whether there was concern that asking for their resignations would look like "politicizing" apolitical roles, Psaki replied, "I will let others evaluate whether they think Kellyanne Conway or Sean Spicer and others were qualified, or not political, to serve on these boards."
CNN reported that among the other people asked to resign are Heidi Stirrup, who was banned from the Department of Justice after she tried to improperly access information to help prove Trump's election fraud lies, and retired Col. Douglas Macgregor, who has made racist comments and said Biden had a "grand plan" to replace those of "European ancestry" with immigrants in the United States.
Trump appointed Spicer to the military academy board in 2019. But the others were some of the more than 150 last-minute appointments Trump made before he left office. The appointments were not subject to Senate confirmation.
The boards are largely ceremonial. But according to the charter of the Board of Visitors of the U.S. Air Force Academy, which Conway sat on, the objective of the body is to provide "independent advice and recommendations on the morale, discipline, social climate, the curriculum, instruction, physical equipment, fiscal affairs, academic methods, and other matters relating to the Academy."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.