Lawyer for CFPB's Leandra English Refuses to Disclose Where Lawsuit Funds Are Coming From

November 28, 2017

A lawyer for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) deputy director Leandra English refused to say who was paying for English’s lawsuit against President Donald Trump over Mick Mulvaney becoming CFPB director.

During a discussion with CNBC’s "Power Lunch" panel, lawyer Deepak Gupta repeatedly said he is not an ethics lawyer and "he doesn’t think it's appropriate to be talking on TV" about the lawsuit's funding. He did say it was "well within the law."

"It's just not appropriate for me to be talking about that right now," Gupta said. "I think it's better addressed by ethics counsel in the appropriate way, but we're satisfied that it's well within the law."

"We have a structure that is set up. There are legal defense funds that exist for precisely this reason," Gupta added.

English filed the suit Sunday in order to block Mulvaney from taking over the director position at the CFPB. A federal judge has since ruled against English in favor of Trump having lawfully filled the position.

Gupta founded the boutique firm Gupta Wessler PLLC after leaving the CFPB.

Gupta is currently representing various clients, including the American Association for Justice, Everytown for Gun Safety, and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. The latter organization is "in litigation over Donald Trump’s violations of the Constitution’s Foreign and Domestic Emoluments Clauses," according to the Gupta Wessler website.

English worked for both former President Barack Obama at the Office of Management and Budget and coordinated events for Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D., Mass.) team as they put together speeches, roundtables, and meetings in every state.

In recent days, English has received the support of various Democratic leaders.

Warren appeared on cable news throughout the day Monday, making the argument that English was the "active director."

Warren is not the only one showing support for English. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D., Nev.) have also backed her.

In a press release, Masto said her office "will recognize her [English’s] leadership," on Monday.

"Wall Street Reform specifically provides that the Deputy Director of the CFPB will become the Acting Director of the agency in the event of a vacancy. President Trump must respect the law and allow Leandra English to fulfill her obligations to American consumers," Masto said. "She is now the Acting Director of the CFPB, and my office will recognize her leadership."

Pelosi sent out a tweet Tuesday, saying she is "thankful for the determination of Leandra English, the rightful Acting Director of CFPB."

The tweet's photo shows English posing with Warren, Pelosi, and Schumer.