— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) July 13, 2021
The Washington Post, industry paper for the company town whose monopoly is national politics, pulls no punches:
Ousted Social Security commissioner Andrew Saul, the Trump appointee who declared Friday he would defy his firing by President Biden, on Monday found his access to agency computers cut off, even as his acting replacement moved to undo his policies.
“I’m here to do the job,” Saul said from his home in Katonah, N.Y., where he had led the agency since the coronavirus pandemic forced most operations to shift in March 2020 to remote work, “but I can’t do anything with the communications shut down.”…
“There will be more,” said Saul, a wealthy former women’s apparel executive and prominent Republican donor who had served on the board of a conservative think tank that has called for cuts to Social Security benefits. “Stay tuned.”
His acting successor, Biden appointee Kilolo Kijakazi, took the reins Monday and was briefed by her staff on the agency’s top priorities, advocates in touch with her office said, including much anticipated planning for the safe reopening of Social Security’s national network of 1,200 field offices. The agency has been under pressure for months from lawmakers in both parties to return to serving the public in person after complaints from constituents who do not have access to the Internet.
“Acting Commissioner Kijakazi is engaging with her leadership team across the agency as she transitions into her new job,” spokesman Mark Hinkle wrote in an email. Saul’s name and that of deputy commissioner David Black, who resigned Friday following a request from the White House, were stripped from the agency’s organization chart.
Experts in federal personnel law, meanwhile, said it was doubtful that Saul could successfully sue the administration to get his job back, following two rulings by the Supreme Court that affirmed the authority of the president to fire the head of an independent agency with a single leader…
As head of an independent agency whose leadership has historically straddled incoming and outgoing presidential administrations, Saul had served for six months under Biden. But he had alienated key Democratic constituencies with a get-tough approach to federal employee unions and policies designed to clamp down on Americans’ eligibility for benefits. Labor leaders, advocates for the disabled and lawmakers on Capitol Hill called for months on Biden to dismiss him, asserting that he was a right-wing Trump advocate whose agenda was at odds with the administration’s.
A White House spokesman said Monday that any questions about Saul’s service to the federal government were resolved last week.
“As you know, the President asked for Andrew Saul’s resignation on Friday, and after he refused to submit it, his employment was terminated,” said Chris Meagher, a deputy White House press secretary. “As with any employment termination, the government has taken steps to offboard Andrew Saul as we would any other former employee.”…
Andrew Saul, a Trump administration holdover, called his departure a “palace coup” and suggested that steps to regain his position could be ahead https://t.co/SqYexObj11
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) July 13, 2021
And, speaking of offboarding…
NEW: Trump Org removes indicted CFO from leadership roles at more than 40 subsidiaries. CFO Allen Weisselberg remains at the company, a person close to Trump Org said. https://t.co/4Lz7bXgBV0
— David Fahrenthold (@Fahrenthold) July 12, 2021
Apparently, it changes nothing — “Allen Weisselberg’s at the company. He’s got a job. He’s going to remain at the company.” –yet. Except that it’s always a bad sign when the fleeing miscreants start tossing underlings out of the getaway car.