Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and former Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought have filed a lawsuit against President Joe Biden after the president’s personnel assistant requested their resignation from the Board of Visitors at the U.S. Naval Academy.
On Thursday, Sept. 23, the lawsuit was sent to federal court in Washington, D.C., by America First Legal on behalf of Spicer and Vought, The Hill reported.
According to the law firm, Spicer and Vought, both served in the Trump administration and are responding to the Biden administration’s “unprecedented decision to oust them from their duly-appointed positions on the Board of Visitors of the U.S. Naval Academy.”
“Sean Spicer and Russ Vought are American patriots who were appointed to positions on the Board of Visitors at the United States Naval Academy because of their ability to contribute to the Board with their unique skills and tremendous experiences,” said Gene Hamilton, vice president and general counsel of America First Legal.
“President Biden’s threatened dismissal of them before their terms expire – from the purely advisory Board of Visitors, an entity that exercises no executive power whatsoever—violates the law,” he said.
Spicer and Vought were two among the Trump appointees that Biden’s White House asked for their resignation from the advisory boards of the Naval Academy, Air Force Academy, and West Point earlier this month.
The others included former Senior Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway and former national security adviser H.R. McMaster.
In the letters sent to Spicer and Vought on Sept. 8, the White House personnel assistant Catherine Russell on behalf of Biden asked these former officials to submit their resignation by the close of that business day or be terminated at that night.
The request came through Spicer’s three-year term is set to end in December and Vought’s at the end of 2023.
Typically, board appointments span across presidential administrations, so all Trump appointees resisted the Biden administration.
Spicer and Vought argue that no statute exists that allows “at-will presidential removal” from the board.
In his response on Sept. 8, Spicer tweeted that, “Instead of focusing on the stranded Americans left in #Afghanistan, President Biden is trying to terminate the Trump appointees to the Naval Academy, West Point and Air Force Academy.”
Conway called Biden’s request “a break from presidential norms” and “certainly seems petty and political,” and said she would not step down, but Biden should instead.
“I’m not resigning, but you should,” Conway said.