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Trump’s exiles in the civil and foreign service could get a second chance at Biden

Some of the names Biden is currently flying are just test balloons designed to gauge how much fire he can expect from Republicans and his fellow Democrats. Fundraisers and key supporters will also have a say in decisions. And government bureaucrats, as qualified as they are, are Biden’s political constituency, and Democrats have courted.

Still, there is a clear preference among Biden’s advisers for career professionals, either alienated or repulsed during the Trump administration. Some left or received the ax because of a lack of loyalty to Trump – “patriots”, a senior adviser to Biden called them.

Biden’s senior advisers have not yet spoken of specific individuals as potential job candidates, but point to his promise to respect the experience and expertise of the civil service and the diplomatic corps.

“There is a need for a number of very experienced seniors where there is a shortage,”

; Ronald Neumann, president of the American Academy of Diplomacy and former career ambassador, told CNN about the State Department. “And they’re likely to pull some of them out, and since most of them are quite respected people, it’s probably going to go smoothly. But it also depends on what people have found in the meantime and whether they have good jobs that are very well paid “Some will come back, others will move on.”

And there are many refugees from the Trump administration – especially in the areas of national security, law enforcement and diplomacy – who fit the description. For example, Biden should not look for more than the news reports of the last four years.

Sally Yates

One of the first victims of Trump’s purge came to the top of the Justice Department hierarchy, Sally Yates – and she is now considered Biden’s most likely attorney general.

As deputy attorney general for the Obama administration, Yates became acting attorney general after Trump took office and was expected to serve until Jeff Sessions was confirmed by the Senate to head the Department of Justice.

But it did not last that long, thanks to the new president’s executive order banning travel to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries. Yates instructed Justice Department lawyers not to defend the order, angering the White House. Ten days after Trump’s term, Yates was fired, not by phone call from the president, but by handwritten letter.

While Yates was a Democrat, she was not known in Washington legal circles as particularly biased before her dismissal. But the Georgian-born appeared at the Democratic National Convention in 2020, accusing the president who fired her of “step[ing] the rule of law. ”

In August, she also argued with Republican senators to defend her role in overseeing the FBI investigation, which led to criminal charges against Michael Flynn, who briefly served as Trump’s national security adviser. During her testimony before the Senate Justice Committee, she described Attorney General William Barr’s decision to dismiss the allegations earlier this year as “highly irregular.”

Marie Jovanovic

Plenty of career foreign service personnel were caught in the middle of the events leading up to Trump’s impeachment. No one was better known than Marie Jovanovic, whose removal as ambassador to Ukraine in May 2019 was central to the president’s investigation into wrongdoing.

Like Thomas Greenfield, Jovanovic spent his career in the foreign service, including appointments to the administrations of George W. Bush and Obama. The credibility of her convictions during the impeachment hearings is based on her decades of diplomatic experience and experience. Her job in fighting corruption was what prompted Trump’s allies to encourage the ouster of Jovanovic through a slanderous campaign against her.

Following a scholarship to Georgetown University, Jovanovic retired from the State Department last January. But she gave the administration a harsh assessment in remarks weeks after her retirement that could be seen as a manifesto for the foreign service in the Trump era.

“To be honest: an immoral, constantly guessing foreign policy that replaces threats, fear and confusion with trust cannot work for long, especially in our healthy, socially connected, interconnected world,” Jovanovic said in Georgetown in February. . 12.

Alexander Windman

Another central figure in the impeachment saga, Alexander Windman is a career army officer with decades of experience as a foreign officer. Windman previously served in combat in Iraq, receiving a Purple Heart after being wounded by a roadside bomb in 2005. In 2018, he was briefed on the National Security Council at the White House (along with his brother). twin Eugene).

Windman’s own testimony to Congress provided details of a phone call in July 2019 with Ukraine’s new president, Vladimir Zelensky, when Trump asked Zelensky to help investigate Biden. He had also reported to a spy his concern about what he considered to be “misconduct” by the president during the conversation.

The testimony put Windman in the middle of a firestorm as the president accused him of disloyalty. There have even been hints from Trump’s media allies that the Kiev-born Windman is a traitor to his adopted United States.

Both Windmans seem to be facing revenge when the brothers were taken out of the White House on February 7 and immediately reassigned to the Army. National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien denied the move was vindictive, but Trump took to Twitter to blow up Alexander Windman for being “very disobedient” and accused him of leaking information and disobeying the chain of command.

By July, Windman had announced he would retire from the military, and his lawyer accused him of intimidating and harassing Trump.

Bonnie Glick

The removal of Trump from office and the rise of loyalists could have lasting consequences
Prior to her dismissal on November 6, Bonnie Glick was a deputy administrator at the United States Agency for International Development, an independent agency that oversees foreign aid and development funds.

Glick began his career as a State Department foreign service officer and also worked for Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, as Deputy Secretary of State for the Aging Department. She was confirmed by the Senate as USAID’s Deputy Administrator, Political Appointment, in January 2019.

Glick was not seen as particularly disloyal or problematic for Trump, nor did she justify the administration’s removal. But taking on that role has complicated things for the White House, which has increasingly relied on current government officials.

Glick’s removal comes on the same day that John Barça’s term as acting administrator of the agency expires under the Federal Job Reform Act, and sources told CNN she was fired so he could remain in charge. Glick was told to resign or be fired, and sources said she refused to resign.

Sources told CNN that they feared that the removal of Glick could disrupt the ease of transition between President Trump and Biden at the agency. A source close to Bonnie Glick told CNN that given that she is a Republican, she would not be interested in re-joining USAID under the Biden administration. The man said that before the election she was asked to help with the transition and that she told Biden’s team that she was happy to help in an informal, unpaid capacity to ensure a smooth transition in the agency.

Glick is now a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a Washington-based think tank.

Chris Krebs

Another dismissal after the election came on November 17th, when the senior official of the Ministry of National Security for Cyber ​​Security, Chris Krebs, was shown the way out.

As director of the DHS Cyber ​​Security and Infrastructure Security Agency, Krebs has built a stellar reputation, including among lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. But he won the wrath of the president and his allies after Krebs and his agency began to actively debunk many of the claims by Trump and his supporters that there was widespread election fraud.

The final straw came when Krebs’s agency – along with a group of election officials – issued a statement stating emphatically that “there is no evidence that any voting system has deleted or lost votes, changed votes or been compromised in any way. way. ”

Trump quoted a CISA statement in his own tweet explaining the decision to fire the 43-year-old cybersecurity expert.

As Krebs was ousted, he continued to push back, prompting him to be fired and praising federal and state officials, including his team. He now writes in a tweet from a personal account (which quickly gathered over 200,000 followers) and more directly calls for misinformation.

“As a reminder, there is still no evidence that election systems and votes have been manipulated,” he wrote on Twitter after the GSA established the vote. After a press conference by Rudy Giuliani and the president’s legal team, Krebs took to Twitter with unusually harsh and direct language, calling it “the most dangerous 1 hour and 45 minutes of television in American history. And probably the craziest.”

Krebs was expected to move to the private sector after the election, regardless of the outcome of the election. He did not say what lay ahead for him, but said he could include his own venture, writing about his former deputy – who resigned after Krebs’ dismissal – “I will be lucky to have a half-better business partner again. “

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