Biden's firing of Trump military academy holdovers creates new precedent, experts say

Critics claim that President Biden's actions to clean up America's military service academy academies set a precedent for politicizing a historically nonpartisan, but patronage-heavy system.
The White House personnel office sent today letters to six members of the service academy visitors boards in West Point, Annapolis, and the U.S. Air Force Academy. They demanded their resignations by 6 p.m. or risk termination.

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Others refused to comply and stated that they would consider legal action.

The big picture: Appointees on those academies’ visitors boards are generally allowed to serve their terms regardless their political affiliations, even after a new president is elected.

Details: H.R. McMaster, a former national security advisor and retired Army lieutenant-general, will be honored at West Point as a distinguished graduate.

Russ Vought, Sean Spicer, and Kellyanne Conway were also high-profile ex-Trump officials. Trump appointed them to the Naval Academy and Air Force academy boards in his last weeks of office.

They're saying that it gives future presidents the precedent to purge all holdovers from the prior administration. "Now you can dictate, from an political perspective, the outcome some of these institutions," Meaghan Mobbs, West Point graduate, said.

Spicer was Trump's first White House press secretary, and a Navy reserve officer. He said Wednesday on Newsmax that he would be "joining a lawsuit to combat this."

Vought, the ex-White House budget director, said that he would not resign as "it's only a three year term." A source familiar with Vought's thinking said that he is considering all legal options.

The other side: Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, stated that Biden like all presidents wants "nominees and people serving these boards who can serve them and are aligned to your values."

Doug Lengenfelder is the acting chair of Air Force Academy Visitors Board. He told Axios that he hoped that she would be treated in the future exactly the same way as she treated other people.

Retired Air Force Colonel said that he had sent the White House a written refusal to resign, with the following explanation: "I am fully qualified and competent for this position. ... This termination is not justified unless it is the most vile of politics.

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