Lawsuit contends Michael Pack has broken federal guarantees of broadcasters' journalistic independence

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New US Agency for Global Media CEO Michael Pack swept into office like a man on a mission, firing the top executives and advisory boards of federally funded international broadcasters. A new lawsuit alleges he broke federal law in doing so. On June 9, according to the lawsuit filed in US District Court for the District of Columbia, Pack's aides ordered the international broadcasters under his agency's supervision to "freeze" all new hiring, staff promotions, and other contractual obligations. The next day, Pack informed the heads of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Office of Cuba Broadcasting and the Open Technology Fund that they were fired, effective immediately. He also disbanded their separate bipartisan advisory boards and replaced them with five Trump administration political appointees and an attorney who works for a Christian legal defense and advocacy group. The lawsuit was filed by four former members of the advisory boards -- including two former US ambassadors with prominent roles in the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, Ryan Crocker and Karen Kornbluh. They contend Pack has broken federal guarantees of the broadcasters' journalistic independence.

Citing A Breached 'Firewall,' Media Leaders Sue U.S. Official Over Firings