Biden Boots More Last-Minute Trump Appointees
With one golf shoe already out the door of the White House in December and January, twice-impeached, one-term president Donald Trump appointed scores of his political cronies to prestigious and coveted positions on federal boards and commissions. Many of them raised eyebrows, such as his naming of Andrew Giuliani, son of his former lawyer Rudy Giuliani, to serve as a member of the United State Holocaust Memorial Council.
On Monday the Biden administration continued its work to purge Washington of Trump’s people by removing four members of the Commission of Fine Arts, which advises the president, Congress and government agencies on matters of design and aesthetics. The White House sent letters to commission Chairman Justin Shubow and members Steven Spandle, Perry Guillot and Chas Fagan asking for their resignations by 6:00 p.m. that day and indicating that they would face termination if they did not comply.
Spandle, Guillot and Fagan all were appointed to four-year terms by Trump in January, a move that made the commission all White and all male. Last year Trump also had issued an executive order declaring that federal buildings were to feature classical architecture as opposed to more modern designs. That order didn’t specify what the standards were to be for new buildings, only that they be “beautiful.”
A number of groups, including the American Institute of Architects, strongly opposed Trump’s mandate. It issued a statement saying, in part, “Communities should have the right and responsibility to decide for themselves what architectural design best fits their needs and we look forward to working with President-elect Biden to ensure that.”
In announcing the new commissioners, a White House statement said Biden is proud to nominate individuals with “a diversity of background and experience, as well as a range of aesthetic viewpoints.”