Donald Trump removed and replaced nine members of the Pentagon’s Defense Business Board on Friday and replaced them with loyalists like Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie, Politico reported. The move comes ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration in January as speculation continues to swirl around a possible coup.
According to the publication, members of the council were notified by Joshua Whitehouse — the White House liaison to the Department of Defense — of the removals.
Michael Bayer, former board chair, alleged that several individuals received a form letter notifying them of their termination.
“In my experience, I was very surprised that the White House would, at the eleventh hour, adjust an advisory board that for 19 years has had a record of nonpartisan support with the department,” he said.
According to Politico, the removals are a continuation of the Trump administration’s plan to “clean out the Defense Department” as his final term comes to an end. The publication claimed the firings came as a shock to the group members. In particular, one council member noted that it has never been driven by politics.
“You are talking about 15, 20 executives, business leaders, government leaders, who are giving their time to serve the nation and not even a thank you note,” they said.
The DBD is comprised of academic and industry leaders appointed by top Pentagon officials who volunteer their time to provide leadership with guidance.
The recent changes come less than one month after Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper, which was followed by resignations from Esper’s chief of staff and other top officials.
Nafeez Ahmed previously argued in Byline Times that Trump could attempt to capture the military in order to dispute the 2020 election results. He pointed to a paper by law professor Edward B. Foley in the Loyola University Chicago Law Journal that argued if the election dispute remains unresolved by Inauguration Day, the armed forces might be uncertain about who the new American leader is.
Trump notably fired Esper, who was opposed to deploying the military on American soil. He replaced him — and others in top Pentagon posts — with a loyalist.
“Trump’s gamble is to generate sufficient uncertainty lasting through to next year, so that he can confuse and disrupt the military chain of command, preventing it operating under the direction of incoming Commander-in-Chief, Joe Biden,” Ahmed wrote.
As The Inquisitr reported, U.S. political analyst George Rennie previously claimed that Trump would mount a coup to overturn the election results if he could. However, Rennie contended that the structure of the United States makes it impossible for the president to do so.