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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Government watchdog Accountable.US released a new report finding nine previously undisclosed political appointees of twice-impeached former President Donald Trump were approved to burrow into permanent civil service positions in the last three months of his administration — bringing Trump’s final-year total to 35 after Trump himself and his allies heavily criticized the 29 conversions during Obama’s last year in office. Among the OPM conversion approvals: a former American Petroleum Institute attorney and Trump EPA official who criticized the standards he would regulate in his new position and an ag industry lobbyist who now administrates crop insurance. 

“It’s always a safe bet that Donald Trump is guilty of whatever he criticizes his political opponents of doing, and sure enough, Trump doubled down on the burrowing practice – predictably packing federal agencies with right-wing zealots and industry henchmen with conflicts of interest,” said Kyle Herrig, president of government watchdog Accountable.US. “As the Biden administration grapples with the major crises it inherited, the public deserves to know if the political operatives Trump also left behind intend to use their positions to sabotage and obstruct progress.”  

Accountable.US obtained the records from the Office of Personnel Management in response to FOIA requests for any correspondence between federal agencies and the OPM related to conversion for government employees in 2020 and 2021 — part of its ongoing investigation into Trump administration holdovers and burrowers in government threatening the Biden administration’s economic recovery agenda. It follows an analysis finding Trump administration independent agency leaders still hold 24 key posts.   

KEY REPORT FINDINGS: 

  • 9 Trump Appointees Were Appointed To Civil Service Positions From October 25, 2020 To January 20, 2021 6 Of These Followed The November 3, 2020 Election. 
  • From December 1, 2020 To January 20, 2021, OPM Received 10 Requests To Have Political Appointees Converted To Civil Service Positions, Approved 6 Previously-Submitted Requests, And Reported That 6 Were Still Pending. 
  • Erik Baptist, Former Senior Counsel For The Climate-Denying American Petroleum Institute And Trump EPA Official, Was Approved For A Career Position At The U.S. Department Of Transportation Where He Would Oversee Fuel Economy Standards
     
  • Department Of Justice Burrower Rachael Tucker Is A Jeff Sessions Loyalist Who Helped Implement His Anti-Civil Rights And Anti-Immigrant Policies Who Now Enforces Federal Criminal Law In A District Of Over 5.7 Million
     
  • Former Agricultural Industry Lobbyist Keith Grey Burrowed Into A Career Position Within The United States Agriculture Department Where He Helps Administrate Crop Insurance
     
  • Former Young Republicans Leader Josue Emmanuel Castro-Rivera Burrowed From A Political Appointment Into The Small Business Association 

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