As part of his efforts to ensure that most of his legacy remains intact, President Trump put many of his allies who share his ideology on government boards. While Democrats were initially not worried because they thought that Joe Biden could immediately fire these people, this is proving more difficult in practice.
Biden Cannot Fire the Appointees
Most of these appointments do not require Senate confirmation. The president does not have the inherent power to remove these appointees either. As a result, they may stay in place until their lengthy terms are concluded. When these appointees do not have set terms in their positions, it is easier to remove them. However, the appointees with fixed terms are very difficult to fire.
While Biden may be able to roll back some of Trump’s Executive Orders and other regulations, some of the Trump agenda could end up being permanent. Trump allies like Kellyanne Conway, Pam Bondi and Corey Lewandowski could end up with key positions that can last for years. This will give the Trump appointees input into things such as agriculture, defense and education.
Trump Still Retains Influence
For now, the Biden team has their hands legally tied. If they could have legally fired these appointees, they certainly would have done it by now. However, they have been reduced to “tracking” the situation. While the Democrats may complain, this is nothing uncommon based on the prior actions of Barack Obama. While Trump will already retain an outsize influence on Washington in his position as the titular head of the Republican Party, he will still have some of his people in appointed positions. Thus, President Trump as a disruptive force will continue long after he has left the White House.