President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for secretary of homeland secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, might face scrutiny from progressives for his legal background.
Mayorkas is a lawyer who made more than $3.3 million representing several large corporations in the past two years, according to financial disclosures reported by Politico.
It is an honor to be nominated and entrusted by the President-elect to serve. It is no small task to lead the Department of Homeland Security, but I will work to restore faith in our institutions, and protect our security here at home.
— Alejandro Mayorkas (@AliMayorkas) November 23, 2020
The companies he defended included T-Mobile, Uber, Airbnb, Northrup Grumman and Intuit.
Politico’s report Friday said the biggest threat to Mayorkas’ confirmation could be his work for Intuit, which he defended in a Los Angeles-based case in 2019.
Intuit and other tax preparation companies were accused of hiding their free tax filing options from customers in order to make them pay for services they did not need.
Intuit’s lawyers from WilmerHale filed an unusual petition to narrow the FTC’s escalating TurboTax investigation. That was rejected by a bipartisan commission ruling: pic.twitter.com/uMOarfwz2j
— Justin Elliott (@JustinElliott) September 8, 2020
The Federal Trade Commission started an investigation amid pressure from several progressive Democrats, including Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.
It would be shocking if these senators did not question Mayorkas about these legal cases during his confirmation hearings.
Prior to representing these corporations, Mayorkas was the deputy secretary of homeland security in the Obama administration, whose inspector general found he improperly intervened to help wealthy foreign investors connected to top Democrats through the EB-5 visa program.
Alejandro Mayorkas was found by Barack Obama’s Inspector General to be guilty of selling Green Cards to Chinese nationals on behalf of rich, democratic donors.
He is disqualified from leading the Department of Homeland Security. pic.twitter.com/8XsPdvn30G
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) November 25, 2020
Mayorkas isn’t the only Biden pick sure to bother the progressive wing of the Democratic Party because of friendliness with big business.
Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen, a former Federal Reserve chairwoman, made millions in consulting fees and speaking gigs to financial institutions such as Citadel and Citi after leaving her position in 2018.
Janet Yellen, President-elect Joe Biden’s pick for Treasury secretary, collected more than $7 million in speaking fees during more than 50 in-person and virtual engagements over the past two years. https://t.co/9fxx9Nr3lV
— Real Time Economics (@WSJecon) January 5, 2021
These conventional choices by Biden and his team are a slap in the face to populists on the left and the right, who have railed against people who are well established in government, preferring political outsiders with a mission to take on corruption.
Undoubtedly, the Biden administration will be like another four years of Barack Obama.
That might sound great to some people, but expect scandals and corruption to go underreported as these officials will be in the same corner as the establishment media.
One can hope that ethics agreements involving Cabinet secretaries and their former clients will be strictly enforced, but I won’t hold my breath.
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