Two weeks before Election Day, President Donald Trump startled official Washington with an executive order that could unravel the country’s 140-year-old civil service system. The White House insisted the move—which makes it easier to fire government lawyers, scientists and other employees in policy-making positions by creating a new job classification—was designed to remove incompetent people who are protected under current rules. But outraged observers in and outside the administration feared it gave Trump more latitude to dismiss people he views as disloyal or working to undermine his agenda.To those in Joe Biden’s circles, however, the action, tantamount to unraveling the country’s civil service system, was regarded as a direct threat: a portent of the damage Trump can do while he’s still in power in the next 73 days, before the power of the presidency officially changes hands on January 20th.From executive orders like this one to presidential pardons, from regulatory decrees to judicial appointments and even military action, lame-duck presidents throughout U.S. history have used their remaining time in office to help secure their legacy, undermine the guy who just defeated them or pay back friends and foes alike. But given that Trump has pushed—some might say obliterated—the normal boundaries… Read full this story
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