The Pentagon has stopped processing some of President Donald Trump's last-minute appointees to defense advisory boards in an attempt to determine if appointments were "politically motivated."
Corey Lewandowski, Trump's 2016 campaign manager, and David Bossie, the former president's deputy campaign manager, were among the people affected by the move.
Advisory board members were informed of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin's decision in a Wednesday email. Politico obtained the message, confirmed by two people familiar with the discussions, and reported on it Thursday.
People such as Lewandowski and Bossie will be prevented from serving on panels tasked with providing advice to the defense secretary until their appointment undergoes a "thorough review by the new administration."
The suspension of processing pertains only to appointees who have not yet been sworn in or have completed all the required paperwork, the Politico sources said.
Lewandowski, Bossie, and others still were undergoing a lengthy financial disclosure and security clearance. Such investigations usually take weeks or months, according to sources.
The Pentagon's effort in regard to the advisory board appointments was "to determine if appointments were politically motivated [vs.] professionally made,'' said one of the people.
Earl Matthews and Anthony Tata were sworn in Jan. 19 after pressure from the White House to push through as many appointees as possible before President Joe Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20.
Their appointments were not affected immediately. However, Biden officials were looking into whether it can replace dozens of Trump’s last-minute appointments to boards and commissions across the U.S. government.
The email sent to advisory board members Wednesday announced "all appointments, reappointments and renewals" to the boards would be suspended "pending a thorough review by the new Administration," effective immediately,
"The Secretary, as you would expect, is reviewing current policies in place across the Department to determine if any changes are necessary, to include the advisory boards," Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said in a statement. "No final decisions have been made with respect to board membership. But we will make the information available should that change."
The decision affects appointments to the Defense Business Board, the Defense Policy Board, the Defense Science Board, the Defense Innovation Board, and the Defense Healthcare Board, according to the email.
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