Lawsuit sets stage for long legal battle over United States consumer watchdog

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will allow payments to victims of financial crime to go forward as usual, the agency's acting director, Mick Mulvaney, said on Monday, reversing a freeze he put in place last week. The reference is from the "Harry Potter" series in which "Dumbledore's Army" served as a secret resistance force.

"An atmosphere of intense anxiety has taken hold", employees said, according to TheNYT. Mulvaney has a clear record opposing the CFPB, calling it a "sick joke", and has sought to abolish it. The FOIA also specifically requests all communications that contain the words "Dumbledore", "Dumbledore's Army", "Snape", "Voldemort", and "He-who-shall-not-be-named", among other records.

"All of the senior leadership is firmly behind Mulvaney", they said.

Mulvaney has already moved to rapidly change the agency, which he promised upon taking the reins.

"I'm looking at each of those on an individual basis, so it's going to take a while to sort of get through all of those", Mulvaney said.

That structure is the traditional model for agencies like the Office of Management and Budget, where Mulvaney is also permanent director, and one that Mulvaney said he believes would work well at the CFPB.

Relying on the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which created the CFPB in 2010, English became acting director when her predecessor, Richard Cordray announced his resignation on November 15.

English has argued that the Dodd-Frank Act, the law that gave rise to the CFPB, should dictate the process for temporarily replacing the agency director.

Mulvaney this week brought in Republican congressional lawyer Brian Johnson as a senior adviser and plans to quickly bring on board more political hires to help him review the bureau's existing and pending regulations, the budget chief said. Under the succession language in Dodd-Frank, the deputy director steps in as the CFPB's acting director in the "absence or unavailability" of the director.

The case comes after D.C. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly - who was appointed to the bench by President Trump - sided with Mulvaney late last month after Richard Cordray abruptly resigned as the bureau's director and tapped English, the deputy director, as his successor.

A judge rejected English's emergency filing to install her as the agency's leader, but Wednesday's new filing sets the stage for her to continue the legal fight in higher courts.