Judge rules against Trump global media chief after firings
Trump loses...again...well at least he is consistent!WASHINGTON -- A federal judge has ruled against the head of the agency that runs the Voice of America and other U.S.-funded news outlets who was accused of trying to turn it into a propaganda vehicle to promote President Donald Trump’s agenda.
The ruling effectively bars U.S. Agency for Global Media CEO Michael Pack from making personnel decisions and interfering in editorial operations.
Pack, a conservative filmmaker, Trump ally and onetime associate of former Trump political adviser Steve Bannon, made no secret of his intent to shake up the agency after taking over in June.
He proceeded to purge the leadership at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, Middle East Broadcasting Networks and the Open Technology Fund, which works to provide secure internet access to people around the world. The director and deputy director of VOA resigned just days before the firings. Pack also dismissed their governing boards.
His moves were criticized by both Democrats and Republicans in Congress who control the agency’s budget.
The lawsuit was filed last month in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by five executives who had been fired or suspended. They accused Pack and his senior advisers of violating the “statutory firewall” intended to protect the news organizations from political interference.
In her ruling late Friday, Judge Beryl Howell imposed preliminary injunctions that prevent Pak from making personnel decisions about journalists employed by the agency, directly communicating with them and conducting any investigations into editorial content or individual journalists.