Developing News...

Small Japanese Manufacturers Face Tough Choices as Government Shifts Policy on Business Failures

For much of its 72-year history, Hitoshi Fujita's company...

J.D. Vance’s Transformation: From Trump Critic to Loyal Running Mate

Eight years ago, leading up to the 2016 presidential...

Shannen Doherty, Iconic ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ Star, Passes Away at 53 After Battle with Cancer

Shannen Doherty, renowned for her role in "Beverly Hills,...

Ukraine Innovates with Secret Workshops to Build Cost-Effective Robotic Army for Defense Against Russia

Facing significant manpower shortages and challenging odds, Ukraine is...

Unveiling the Shadows: Inside the Secretive Campaign to Root Out Federal Workers Blocking Trump’s Agenda

From a home office in Kentucky, an experienced political operative is quietly scrutinizing numerous federal employees who may oppose the policies of Republican Donald Trump. This unusual and potentially concerning effort aligns with broader conservative strategies for a new administration.

Tom Jones and his organization, the American Accountability Foundation, are investigating the backgrounds, social media posts, and commentary of key high-ranking government employees, starting with the Department of Homeland Security. They are relying partly on tips from conservative contacts, including workers. Alarmingly, they plan to publish their findings online.

With a $100,000 grant from the Heritage Foundation, their goal is to list 100 government workers on a website this summer to inform a potential new administration about those who might obstruct a second-term Trump agenda, making them targets for scrutiny, reclassification, reassignment, or firing.

“We need to understand who these people are and what they do,” said Jones, a former Capitol Hill aide to Republican senators.

The initiative to compile and publicize a list of government employees illustrates the lengths Trump’s allies will go to ensure no obstacles to his plans if he returns to the White House. Jones’ Project Sovereignty 2025 complements Heritage’s Project 2025, which prepares policies, proposals, and personnel for a possible new administration.

The effort, focusing on top career government officials who aren’t political appointees, has alarmed democracy experts and the civil service community, drawing comparisons to McCarthyism’s red scare.

Jacqueline Simon, policy director at the American Federation of Government Employees, found the language used—Heritage’s announcement praised the group for identifying “anti-American bad actors”—“shocking.”

Civil servants, often ex-military personnel, are required to take an oath to the Constitution, not a president, she and others said.

“It just seems as though their goal is to menace federal employees and sow fear,” said Simon, whose union supports President Joe Biden for reelection.

As Trump, who faces criminal convictions and federal indictments, likely rematches with Biden this fall, far-right conservatives have pledged to dismantle what they call the deep-state bureaucracy.

The Trump campaign has stated that outside groups don’t represent the ex-president, who sets his policy priorities independently.

Conservatives see the federal workforce as overstepping its role, becoming a power center that can influence or block a president’s agenda. During the Trump administration, government officials often faced attacks from the White House and Republicans on Capitol Hill, as even his own Cabinet frequently objected to some of his more controversial or unlawful proposals.

While Jones’ group won’t explicitly recommend firing or reassigning federal workers, their work aligns with Heritage’s comprehensive Project 2025 blueprint for a conservative administration.

Heritage’s Project 2025 advocates reviving the Trump Schedule F policy, which would reclassify tens of thousands of federal workers as political appointees, enabling mass dismissals—though a Biden administration rule seeks to make this more difficult. The Heritage project also aims to recruit and train a new generation to fill government jobs.

In announcing the $100,000 Innovation Award last month, Heritage said it would support American Accountability Foundation’s “investigative researchers, in-depth reports, and educational efforts to alert Congress, a conservative administration, and the American people to the presence of anti-American bad actors in the administrative state and ensure appropriate action is taken.”

Heritage President Kevin Roberts said the “weaponization of the federal government” has been possible only because of the “deep state of entrenched Leftist bureaucrats.” He expressed pride in supporting the American Accountability Foundation’s efforts to hold the government accountable and remove bad actors.

The federal government employs about 2.2 million people, including those in the Washington, D.C., area and workers who many Americans know as friends or neighbors across the country. About 4,000 government positions are political appointees who change with presidential administrations, but most are career professionals, from landscapers at Veterans Administration cemeteries to economists at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The public list-making recalls for some the era of Joseph McCarthy, the senator who conducted grueling hearings into suspected communist sympathizers during the Cold War, orchestrated by a top staffer, Roy Cohn, who later became a confidant of a young Trump.

Skye Perryman, CEO of the advocacy group Democracy Forward, said it’s deeply disturbing and reminiscent of “the darker parts of American history.”

Publicly naming government workers is an “intimidation tactic to try to chill the work of these civil servants,” she said, part of a broader “retribution agenda” in this election.

“They’re seeking to undermine our democracy,” she said. “They’re seeking to undermine the way our government works for people.”

Jones, from his desk in Bardstown, dismissed comparisons to McCarthyism as “nonsense.”

He’s a former staffer to then-Sen. Jim DeMint, the South Carolina conservative Republican who later led Heritage and now heads the Conservative Policy Institute, where American Accountability Foundation has a mailing address. Jones also worked for Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, and provided opposition research for Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential bid.

With six researchers, Jones’ team operates remotely across the country, examining information about federal workers within Homeland Security, the State Department, and other agencies dealing with immigration and border issues. Their focus is on the highest ranks of civil servants—GS-13, GS-14, and GS-15 employees and those in senior executive positions who could hinder Trump’s plans for tighter borders and more deportations.

“I think it’s important for the next administration to understand who those people are,” Jones said.

He dismissed concerns about the risks of publicly posting names, salary information, and other details of federal workers who have some level of privacy or the idea that his group’s work could jeopardize employees’ livelihoods.

“You don’t get to make policy and then say, ‘Hey, don’t scrutinize me,’” he said.

He acknowledges that some of the work involves a “gut check” or “instinct” about which federal employees might try to block a conservative agenda.

“We’re looking at, ‘Are there wrong people on the bus right now that are, you know, openly hostile to efforts to secure the southern border?’” he said.

His own group came under scrutiny as it first investigated Biden nominees.

Biden repealed Trump’s Schedule F executive order in January 2021, but a Government Accountability Office report in 2022 found that agencies believed it could be reinstated by a future administration.

Since then, the Biden administration issued a rule making it harder to fire workers. A new administration could direct the Office of Personnel Management to undo the regulation, but the process would take time and be open to legal challenges.

Newsletter

Discover

Small Japanese Manufacturers Face Tough Choices as Government Shifts Policy on Business Failures

For much of its 72-year history, Hitoshi Fujita's company...

J.D. Vance’s Transformation: From Trump Critic to Loyal Running Mate

Eight years ago, leading up to the 2016 presidential...

Shannen Doherty, Iconic ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ Star, Passes Away at 53 After Battle with Cancer

Shannen Doherty, renowned for her role in "Beverly Hills,...

Ukraine Innovates with Secret Workshops to Build Cost-Effective Robotic Army for Defense Against Russia

Facing significant manpower shortages and challenging odds, Ukraine is...

Discover More

Calvin van der Spuy
Calvin van der Spuy
Calvin van der Spuy, a seasoned journalist with 8 years of experience, has dedicated his career to the relentless pursuit of the unbiased truth. At just 20 years old, Calvin's passion for journalism ignited at a young age, leading him to become a respected voice in the field. With a knack for uncovering stories that matter, Calvin's work is characterized by its integrity and commitment to factual reporting. He brings a fresh perspective to every piece, ensuring that his audience receives well-researched and accurate information. Calvin's dedication to maintaining journalistic standards makes him a valuable asset to any newsroom. In his journey, Calvin has covered a diverse range of topics, from local community issues to international affairs, always striving to shed light on the stories that need to be told. His curiosity and determination drive him to explore every angle, ensuring that no stone is left unturned. When he's not chasing leads or conducting interviews, Calvin enjoys engaging with his community and staying updated on the latest news trends. His friendly demeanor and approachable nature make him a trusted source for reliable news. Calvin van der Spuy continues to inspire with his unwavering commitment to truth and his passion for storytelling. His journey in journalism is a testament to the power of dedication and the importance of seeking the unbiased truth in today's ever-evolving media landscape.