donald joseph white
The White House Just Used a Brazen Backdoor Move to Bypass the Senate
A loophole allowed the Trump administration to install a Wall Street lawyer to take over one of the nation’s most powerful regulators without a hearing or confirmation.
By Bess Levin

As you may recall, Donald Trump promised to gut the protections of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, because it interferes with the ability of banks and other business to make lots of money at the expense of ordinary consumers I mean to create jobs. To accomplish this, he’d need someone friendly to head the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), which is in charge of regulating Wall Street.

Trump wanted to appoint Keith Noreika, a Wall Street financial services lawyer who has worked closely with the same Wall Street companies that the OCC regulates. The head of the OCC, however, is a position that the Senate must confirm, and Noreika’s past work has left him with substantial financial and ethical conflicts of interest. So Trump and his Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, came up with a way to do it without any potential embarrassment:

  1. Appoint Noreika as “first deputy” at the OCC.
  2. Fire the current head of the OCC.

Noreika automatically became “acting comptroller,” with no Senate hearings or confirmation, no disclosure of his former clients, and no ethics pledge.


It’s all fun and games online until Trump shows up. I draw the line at Trump.