Biden White House drops the axe on Trump-appointee who refused to resign

Biden White House drops the axe on Trump-appointee who refused to resign
Joe Biden // Gage Skidmore
Robert Reich explains Joe Biden's biggest challenge

The Biden White House has announced the termination of a Trump-appointee who made headlines when she defiantly refused to resign when the Biden administration took office.

According to Bloomberg Law, on Friday, March 5, an inside source revealed President Joe Biden's administration moved to fire Sharon Gustafson—the Trump-appointed lawyer who served as general counsel for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The termination comes shortly after Gustafson made headlines when she released her letter in response to Biden's request for her resignation. In the letter, Gustafson reiterated that she was appointed to serve a four-year term as she respectfully declined to resign.

"I have confidently given this advice to countless embattled clients over the last 25 years: hold your head high, do your best work, and do not resign under pressure," she added. "In solidarity with them, I will follow that advice."

Gustafson also sounded off with accusations alleging the Biden administration had undermined her previous work as she noted that her work by removing it from the EEOC website. "I can only assume that my resignation would be followed by similar suppression of our work promoting religious freedom," Gustafson wrote.

In response to the Biden administration's request, other Trump-appointees have expressed their disdain. In fact, Andrea R. Lucas, the EEOC's Trump-appointed commissioner tweeted her concerns saying, it was "an injection of partisanship where it had been absent[.]"

When Gustafson was nominated, there were heightened concerns about the possibility of her advocating to overturn EEOC guidance implemented by former President Barack Obama's administration.

During an interview with The Washington Post, David Lopez, former EEOC general counsel who served under the Obama administration, also expressed concern about Gustafson's appointment.

"One of the issues she made as her hallmark, was the issue of discrimination against religious minorities, the law requiring religious accommodation of beliefs," Lopez said. "Some lawyers from the conservative Christian right view this right as a conflict with requiring nondiscrimination against LGBTQ people."

In the letter, Gustafson also raised concerns about the ethical aspects of her termination but Lopez admitted that he does not see any issue with the resignation request. "At the end of the day you serve at the pleasure of the president," Lopez said. "I think the norm that was violated was that she decided to stay. I've never heard of that happening before."


Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ }}

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.