Donald Trump would fire tens of thousands of civil servants and bring his key Jan. 6 allies to the White House and Cabinet in a move that would fundamentally redesign the government to suit his agenda if he is elected to a second term, according to a new report.
After speaking with close allies of the former president, Axios reports Trump would purge staff at the Justice Department, State Department, and Pentagon in his early days back in the Oval Office in 2025. The outlet’s investigation says the plan would be based around an executive order called “Schedule F,” which was secretly developed and then publicly launched in October 2020 before being rescinded by President Biden.
The order established a new category of employment for federal workers. Trump would resurrect the order if he returns to the White House, which would see thousands of workers who have an influence on policy reassigned as “Schedule F” employees. After being reassigned, the staff would lose their employment protections. An estimate from a Trump official who worked on the order said that as many as 50,000 workers could be subject to such a reassignment. If he became president again, Trump could theoretically fire tens of thousands of them without the employees having any ability to appeal their sacking. He could then fill the vacancies with people he deems more loyal to him and his “America First” program.
Such a plan would completely gut the American civil service and could potentially burden future presidents with the decision of bringing in their own partisans to replace those of their predecessors.
While Trump allies say they wouldn’t need to fire all 50,000 workers, sacking a cohort of particular “bad apples” at every agency affected would achieve the desired “behavior change” from the federal government. They said they believe the implementation of Schedule F will finally curtail the “farce” of Republican presidents being sabotaged by an ostensibly nonpartisan civil service, which is, in their belief, staffed by liberals.
It’s thought that allies from Trump’s previous administration—including Chief of Staff Mark Meadows—and others accused of supporting Trump’s bid to overturn the 2020 election result will be brought into Trump’s new administration. One stalwart supporter believed to be in line for a big job is Jeffrey Clark—the DOJ lawyer who Trump wanted to make attorney general in his last days in office and who has since been the subject to an FBI investigation as part of its probe into efforts to overturn the election.
Russ Vought, the former boss of Trump’s Office of Management and Budget, has also reportedly been working on plans that would benefit from Schedule F through the organization he founded, the Center for Renewing America (CRA). Vought is reportedly planning to recommend changes to the security clearance system to make it easier to appoint officials in future. “We are consciously bringing on the toughest and most courageous fighters with the know-how and credibility to crush the deep state,” Vought told Axios.
Kash Patel, the chief of staff to Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller at the time of the attack on the Capitol, would likely be in line for a top national-security job in a new Trump White House. If he made it through Senate confirmation, Patel may even be appointed FBI or CIA director, according to Trump allies.
Former loyalists who reportedly won’t be included in Trump’s 2025 team are his daughter Ivanka and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Erstwhile close advisers, including Hope Hicks and former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, are also no longer thought to be involved, while Trump’s VP Mike Pence is now thought of as an enemy by Trump and his inner circle. He’s also reportedly complained about other key figures in his former administration, including “wacko” National Security Adviser John Bolton and “weak” Attorney General Bill Barr.