Battle for Control of Consumer Agency Heads to Court

The leadership standoff between President Trump and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an independent government agency, is headed to court.

Leandra English, the bureau’s deputy director, filed a lawsuit on Sunday night to block Mr. Trump’s choice of a temporary chief from taking control of the agency on Monday morning.

Ms. English, an agency veteran, was appointed to the deputy director position on Friday by the consumer bureau’s outgoing director, Richard Cordray, who abruptly resigned that day. Under the terms of the law that created the agency, Ms. English should succeed him as its temporary leader, Mr. Cordray told the staff.

But Mr. Trump, citing a different federal law, moved hours later to install his budget director, Mick Mulvaney, as the agency’s acting director. The bureau had been a “total disaster” and needed new leadership to “bring it back to life,” Mr. Trump said on Twitter.

The dueling appointments left it unclear who would be running the agency on Monday.

Ms. English is looking to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to resolve the dispute. The lawsuit she filed seeks a temporary injunction to halt Mr. Mulvaney’s appointment.

“The President’s attempt to appoint a still-serving White House staffer to displace the acting head of an independent agency is contrary to the overall statutory design and independence of the bureau,” Ms. English wrote in her lawsuit.