Cordray has deputized liberal Attorneys General into his fight in a partisan matter that excludes moderate and conservative AGs and has worked with left-wing AGs to weaponize their offices to help prosecute his fight against career colleges. Cordray understands that a multi-front legal fight against career college access makes it much more likely that he will be able to sue his enemies into submission. In addition to just being able to initiate multiple lawsuits with the help of the liberal Attorneys General, he is also able to call upon the speed of the nimbler state offices and also the flexibility of state law. When federal law does not give Cordray an opening or when it just takes too long working within the federal government to spin up a suit, Cordray can turn to his ideological allies in the states to open a new front.
Documents obtained by AAF from the Maryland Attorney General’s office show that there is a dual-track approach for controversial issues in the Department of Education Federal Student Aid Office of Enforcement.
For non-controversial student loan issues, such as the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program there is a broad group of Attorney General Offices included, representing all political parties. For example, as the emails in Appendix C show, Democrat and Republican Attorneys General from Florida and Arizona to DC and New York are included on the Department’s regularly check in call with AGs.
As the more controversial email regarding loan amnesty shows owing to Cordray’s partisan agenda, there was a dramatic partisan divide with 19 of the offices being Democrat and only 5 of the offices being Republican.
At the time, including the District of Columbia, there were 28 Republican attorneys general, and 23 Democrat, a clear indication of how lopsided Cordray’s outreach to the states was. Cordray’s explicit exclusion of Republican Attorneys General, raises very serious questions whether the investigations at the Federal Student Aid Office are legitimate federal investigative activities looking to partner with the states, or a partisan witch hunt run by an overzealous director who refuses to partner with most Republicans because he knows they won’t aid his partisan efforts.
Undermines Office Objectivity by Recruiting Overwhelming Among Democrat AGs
In addition to employing the litigation and regulatory support of only like-minded AGs, Cordray has also taken a partisan approach to recruiting for his office. Despite Republicans holding the majority of the Attorney General Offices in the United States when Cordray was recruiting for an enforcement position, his office reached out to 21 Democrat offices while only reaching out to 11 Republican offices. A particularly problematic bias when the position was listed as “fully remote” and could have been in a state like Texas, whose office was not on the email.