Top Trump Appointee Abandons Ship, Announces Plan To Leave Gov’t In January


Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai, who outgoing President Donald Trump elevated to his current position, does not appear to subscribe to the Trumpian conspiracy theory that there’s any meaningful “path to victory” for the president in his ongoing fight against the election results. Trump has refused to conclusively acknowledge Biden’s victory in the recent presidential election. Instead, Trump has peddled outright lies about the electoral process, claiming, ludicrously, that there was some vast conspiracy against him. Now, Pai says that he’ll be leaving the FCC on January 20, when President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated.

During his time leading the FCC, Pai presided over deregulatory pushes like the repeal of net neutrality rules, which had demanded that internet service providers handle all web traffic equally, without favoritism for providing efficient access to certain sites over others. In a statement announcing his plans to leave the FCC, where he’d served as a committee member before his stint as chairman, Pai said that it “has been the honor of a lifetime to serve at the Federal Communications Commission, including as Chairman of the FCC over the past four years.” He is the first Asian-American to chair the agency.

Replacing Pai as FCC chairman will be one of soon-to-be President Biden’s many tasks. Other agency heads within the Trump administration have refused to conclusively and publicly acknowledge the fact that they’re on the way out of the halls of government with Trump. Recently, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo even “joked” that there will be a “smooth transition to a second Trump administration” when pressured over the Trump administration’s handling of the Biden transition team’s needs. “Joking” about undermining democracy in favor of the whims of a wannabe authoritarian isn’t, of course, particularly funny — especially coming from the Secretary of State, whose job hinges on defending American governmental ideals throughout the world. Pompeo’s praise for “democracy” rings hollow while, at home, the team that he’s on tries to undermine the concept.

Trump and his allies have so far failed to produce any meaningfully conclusive evidence for their claims that widespread fraud plagued the recent election. As The Washington Post summarizes, the Trump team’s claims have included the idea that “Democratic leaders rigged the vote in a number of majority-Black cities, and that voting machines were tampered with by communist forces in Venezuela at the direction of Hugo Ch├ívez, the Venezuelan leader who died seven years ago.” There’s no reason to believe that meaningful evidence for this off-the-wall, ramshackle conspiracy theory will ever emerge.