Powell became Fed chair in just February of this year after Trump nominated him to take over for Janet Yellen. He was easily confirmed in the Senate and has a four-year term.
While the president appoints the Fed’s board of governors, including the chairman, the central bank “derives its authority from the Congress, which created the System in 1913 with the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act,” according to the Fed’s website.
“The Board reports to and is directly accountable to the Congress but, unlike many other public agencies, it is not funded by congressional appropriations,” the site says
“The President can nominate a chair but once the chair is confirmed, the president is out of it and the only way you can remove a chair from office is literally if they broke the law. Congress will have to find a cause to remove them from office through a vote and a procedure,” Ellen Zentner, Morgan Stanley’s chief U.S. economist, told CNBC in October.
But Trump has already broken with precedent through his repeated criticism in the second half of this year of the Fed and the chairman to the press and via Twitter, including this week before the central bank hiked rates. Other presidents privately tried to influence the Fed, but none did so in such a public and forceful matter.