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Biden at FEMA headquarters on May 24. Photo: Oliver Contreras/Sipa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

U.S. Commission of Fine Arts chair Justin Shubow told NPR that he and three other commissioners on the independent federal agency have been asked to resign by the Biden administration — or be fired.

Why it matters: Shubow, who was appointed to the commission by former President Trump in 2018, said no commissioner has been removed from the agency in its 110-year history.

Shubow provided NPR with a copy of the letter he received from Cathy Russell, director of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel.

  • "Should we not receive your resignation, your position with the Commission will be terminated effective 6:00 pm tonight," the letter, dated for May 24th, reportedly reads.
  • "I was shocked and dismayed to learn that three of my fellow commissioners, along with myself, have been asked to resign or be terminated by the President," he said in a statement. "Any such removal would set a terrible precedent."
  • Shubow reportedly refused to resign.

Biden has chosen Peter Cook, Hazel Ruth Edwards, Justin Garrett Moore, and Billie Tsien to replace the former commissioners, a White House spokesperson confirmed in an email to Axios. The positions do not require Senate confirmation.

  • Cook is design principal at HGA Architects and American Institute of Architects member. Edwards chairs Howard University's Department of Architecture in the College of Engineering and Architecture. Tsien is a partner with Todd Williams Billie Tsien Architects, the firm designing the Obama Presidential Library.
  • "The four individuals who were asked to resign from this commission were strong proponents of classical architecture and therefore do not align with President Biden’s values," the White House spokesperson said.

Go deeper

Poll: 63% of New York voters say Cuomo should resign

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

63% of registered voters in New York say that Gov. Andrew Cuomo should resign after an independent investigation concluded he sexually harassed multiple women in violation of state and federal law, according to a Marist poll released Wednesday.

Why it matters: Cuomo has refused to resign in the immediate aftermath of the public findings, claiming on Tuesday that he has never touched anyone inappropriately.

Updated Aug 3, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Cuomo under criminal investigation for sexual misconduct

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is under criminal investigation after an independent investigation found that he sexually harassed multiple women, including employees in his office, in violation of state and federal law, the Albany County district attorney said Tuesday.

Why it matters: Cuomo, who has denied wrongdoing and urged critics to wait for the results of the independent inquiry, will now face renewed pressure to resign. He must also determine whether he will continue his 2022 re-election campaign.

Biden calls on Cuomo to resign after sexual harassment findings

Cuomo with Biden and Sen. Chuck Schumer in September 2020. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden called on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to resign on Tuesday after an independent investigation found that Cuomo sexually harassed multiple women, including employees in his office, in violation of state and federal law.

Why it matters: Unlike dozens of other prominent Democrats, Biden held off on calling for Cuomo's resignation in March when the allegations of sexual misconduct first emerged.