‘Kicked out on his a**’: Emails show faction of fed officials celebrated Biden’s unprecedented firing of Trump’s labor board leader

Thomas Catenacci, DCNF

  • A faction of staffers within the National Labor Relations Board celebrated President Joe Biden’s unprecedented termination of the agency’s former leader, emails obtained by the Freedom Foundation showed.
  • In an unprecedented move, Biden fired former General Counsel Peter Robb, who had been appointed by former President Donald Trump, hours after taking office on Jan. 20.
  • “Hi Peter, so exciting,” NLRB senior attorney Neelam Kundra wrote to the general counsel Peter Ohr on Jan. 25, according to one of the emails. “And such a REFRESHING change!!!”

A pro-union faction of staffers within the National Labor Relations Board celebrated President Joe Biden’s unprecedented termination of the agency’s former leader, emails showed.

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) lawyers and employees expressed excitement at the agency’s new direction after President Joe Biden appointed Peter Ohr as the board’s general counsel, emails obtained by the Freedom Foundation on Monday showed. NLRB employees said Ohr’s appointment was a “huge sigh of relief and hope” and even gave them the chills.

“Hi Peter, so exciting,” NLRB senior attorney Neelam Kundra wrote in an email to Ohr on Jan. 25, according to the Freedom Foundation information request. “And such a REFRESHING change!!!”

“Good for you,” Aaron Karsh, the NLRB Division of Operations-Management assistant general counsel, wrote to Ohr in an email. “Good for us, good for the country!”

Biden fired former General Counsel Peter Robb, who had been appointed by former President Donald Trump, hours after taking office on Jan. 20. Robb was terminated after refusing to submit a letter of resignation and arguing that he should be allowed to complete his term.

“The removal of an incumbent General Counsel of the NLRB prior to the expiration of the term by a President of the United States is unprecedented,” he wrote to the White House in a scathing letter, Bloomberg Law reported.

NLRB general counsels have historically been allowed to serve out their entire term even after a new president is elected, according to the National Right to Work Foundation. Trump waited for Richard Griffin, the general counsel appointed by former President Barack Obama, to finish his term before replacing him with Robb.

The powerful American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) celebrated Robb’s ouster on Jan. 20, characterizing him as a “union-busting lawyer by trade.” NLRB staffers appeared to agree with the AFL-CIO’s assessment, the emails showed.

“For my money, I’d love to see you in that position permanently,” Allen Binstock, a retired NLRB regional director, wrote to Ohr on Jan. 26, according to the Freedom Foundation. “It is such sweet justice to see Robb kicked out on his ass and you replace him.”

“As low as I’ve felt these past few months, when I heard the news about your interim appointment, I got up and did a happy dance,” he continued.

Ohr responded, thanking Binstock for his “very kind words.”

“So happy that you were chosen – some justice,” Suzanne Sullivan, a high-ranking NLRB attorney based in New York, wrote to Ohr.

“I have chills reading about how you view the NLRB’s mission through the lens of your working class immigrant parents,” NLRB attorney Laura Pho said in an email to Ohr.

NLRB employee Joan Sullivan said Ohr was the “person to get us going” in a Jan. 26 email. After Synta Keeling, another employee, sent a congratulatory email, Ohr responded thanking her and promising to make significant changes at the agency.

“Let’s make history together,” Ohr said in an email response.

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