Judicial Watch files FOIA lawsuit against CFPB for documents relating to Cordray appointment

Richard Cordray

Judicial Watch announced on Tuesday that it has filed a suit against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in an effort to obtain records regarding President Obama’s recess appointment of Richard Cordray.

In January, Judicial Watch, a government watchdog agency, filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the CFPB requesting all records of communication between the CFPB, U.S. Treasury, White House, the Executive Office of the President and Congress regarding President Obama’s appointment of Richard Cordray as CFPB director.

The request further seeks information related to communications involving the CFPB and White House during a visit to the CFPB by President Obama just two days after Cordray’s appointment was announced.

In order to circumvent Republican opposition, President Obama used his power of recess appointments in January to appoint former Ohio attorney general Richard Cordray to the position of director at the CFPB. Many critics, however, claimed that Congress was not in recess, so the appointment was not constitutional.

“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,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “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.”

In response to the lawsuit, the CFPB provided Judicial Watch with responsive documents final in the matter on June 8.