Trump loyalists Lewandowski, Bossie blocked from Pentagon boards

Bill Faries and Tony Capaccio

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered a full review of at least 42 Pentagon advisory boards and committees after concerns about a flurry of last-minute appointments of key loyalists by former President Donald Trump.

Hundreds of board members will be asked to resign or be fired in the coming weeks, two Pentagon officials told reporters Tuesday on condition of anonymity.

Citizens United President David Bossie, from left, Corey Lewandowski, and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Late picks by Trump in his final days – including loyalists such as former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich – are among the members who won’t be taking seats on the various boards. Board members typically are volunteers, but the appointments can offer them both prestige and access to key officials.

The Pentagon officials said the full review of the various advisory boards – set to take until at least June – was unprecedented and would give Austin the opportunity to review whether all of them are needed or if some have overlapping authorities. Among the panels is the well-known Defense Science Board.

The decision to remove all members gives the Biden administration a rebuttal to criticism that it chose to purge solely Trump appointees.