- Darren Beattie sparked outrage by joining the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad.
- He was chosen for the role in 2020 by Trump, despite having been fired from his administration.
- Recently Beattie spread false theories that the FBI started the Capitol Riot, but remains in post.
Right-wing conspiracy theorist Darren Beattie continues to occupy a position in the federal government given to him by Donald Trump, almost a year since Joe Biden took office and gained the ability to fire him.
Beattie was appointed by then-President Donald Trump in November 2020 to serve on the Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad.
Its main responsibilities are seeking to preserve monuments in eastern and central Europe, many of which memorialize Holocaust victims.
He gained new prominence in recent weeks promoting conspiracy theories about the Capitol riot, earning public praise from Trump.
Both Beattie and a spokesperson the commission confirmed that he continues to serve on the body. His term is due to end on February 27, beyond which he can continue to serve if he chooses.
Despite being part of the commission, Beattie was this week not listed on its website as a member. It instead lists former US Rep. Marjorie Margolies, an Obama appointee whose term was up in January 2020 and is no longer part of the commission.
Beattie’s appointment in 2020 caused outrage, and campaign groups continue to call for his removal. In a statement to Insider, the Anti-Defamation league, which monitors anti-Semitism, said that Beattie should not be continuing to serve on the body.
“Since Beattie’s appointment to the Commission in November 2020, he has continued to spread outrageous and deeply harmful falsehoods and misinformation, including about the January 6 insurrection, that are at odds with serving in such positions of official responsibility,” said spokesman Jake Hyman.
“We retain our view that Beattie, who once attended an event with white supremacists and participated in a panel discussion with white nationalist Peter Brimelow, should have no place on a commission that plays a special role preserving Jewish heritage sites from before the Holocaust.”
The spokesman was referring to Beattie’s attendance of the HL Mencken Club, which led to the Trump administration firing him.
Beattie, who describes himself as a “proud Jew” on his Twitter profile, confirmed to Insider that he continued to serve on the commission.
“I’m proud to serve president Biden to honor the memory of the Holocaust,” said Beattie, and criticized ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt as a “Democrat apparatchik” who has “destroyed the reputation of the ADL during his tenure.”
Professor David Eric Lewis, an expert in the executive branch at Vanderbilt University, told Insider that Biden has the power to fire Beattie, since there are no explicit protections against it in law.
“Many, including the last two presidents, interpret this to mean that presidents can fire them for whatever reason,” he said in an email.
His assessment was shared by Professor Anne O’Connell, an expert in the laws covering federal bureaucracy at Stanford Law School, who noted that Biden fired a Trump appointee serving in a similar role.
The Biden administration has warned Trump appointees in other federal offices that they should resign or expect to be fired. However, in many cases the administration has taken little action against them.
In August 2021, Insider’s Justin Rood catalogued more than 40 such figures serving well into Biden’s term despite championing efforts to undermine the 2020 election results.
The White House did not reply to Insider’s requests for comment on the case.
Since Trump left office, Beattie has gained prominence as an advocate of the conspiracy theory that FBI agents instigated the Capitol riot, and is frequently invited onto Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s show to discuss the claims.
Trump in a statement Sunday praised Beattie, and his fringe website Revolver News, for their efforts.
“Congratulations to Darren Beattie and Revolver News who have exposed so much of the Fake News’ false narrative about January 6th,” he said.