BREAKING NEWS: Acting Homeland Security boss Chad Wolf steps down claiming court battle over whether he can legally do his job is a ‘distraction’ on eve of flying to Mexican border wall with Donald Trump
- Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf resigned Monday, citing legal cases that have challenged whether he can be in the job
- Wolf’s resignation comes a day before President Donald Trump plans to tour his U.S.-Mexico border wall
- In a note to agency workers, Wolf said he was quitting because of ‘recent events’
- ‘Including the ongoing and meritless court rulings regarding the validity of my authority as Acting Secretary,’ he explained
- Federal judges have ruled that Wolf, who was never confirmed by the Senate, may not be in the position lawfully
The acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, resigned from his position Monday, citing the legal battle over whether he can do his job.
Wolf’s resignation comes a day before President Donald Trump plans to tour wall construction on the U.S.-Mexico border – a trip the DHS head would normally take.
In a note to agency workers, obtained by Fox News Channel, Wolf said he was quitting because of ‘recent events.’
‘Including the ongoing and meritless court rulings regarding the validity of my authority as Acting Secretary,’ Wolf went on. ‘These events and concerns increasingly serve to divert attention and resources away from the important work of the Department in this critical time of a transition of power.’
He said that FEMA’s Administrator Peter Gaynor, who was Senate-confirmed, would take over DHS through the end of the transition.
Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf resigned Monday citing court cases that challenged whether he was legally able to be in the job
President Donald Trump, seen at the controversial ‘Save America March,’ where he incited a riot on Capitol Hill, will be traveling to the U.S.- Mexico border Tuesday to observe his wall, with just eight days left of his presidency
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf stands in front of a new section of the border wall in October in McAllen, Texas. Wolf would have normally accompanied Trump to the border
Wolf implored the president and other elected officials to ‘strongly condemn the violence that took place yesterday’ in a statement that he tweeted on Thursday before he announced his resignation Monday
WHO’S QUIT TRUMP ADMINISTRATION SINCE MAGA MOBBED CAPITOL HILL?
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf
Hope Hicks – who said it was not related to riots
Melania Trump’s Chief of Staff Stephanie Grisham
White House Social Secretary Rickie Niceta
Deputy National Security Advisor Matt Pottinger
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Intelligence and Security John Costello
Special Envoy for Northern Ireland and former OMB Director and White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney
The National Security Council’s Senior Director for Europe and Russia Ryan Tully
Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Matthews
Entire non-career staff of the Federal Aviation Administration
Federal judges have ruled that Wolf’s appointment to the top position at DHS does not appear to be lawful because it didn’t follow the department’s order of succession.
Wolf had been nominated to hold the job full-time, but the White House announced it had pulled his nomination Thursday.
Earlier in the day, Wolf had been publicly pleading with the president to condemn the violence after the Capitol Hill siege.
‘What transpired yesterday was tragic and sickening,’ Wolf wrote in a statement then.
‘While I have consistently condemned political violence on both sides of the aisle, specifically violence directed at law enforcement, we now see some supporters of the President using violence as a means to achieve political ends,’ Wolf said in a statement Thursday.
‘This is unacceptable. These violent actions are unconscionable, and I implore the President and all elected officials to strongly condemn the violence that took place yesterday,’ Wolf continued.
‘DHS takes the safety and security of all Americans very seriously—it’s at the core of our mission to defend our homeland. Any appearance of inciting violence by an elected official goes against who we are as Americans,’ Wolf added.
The White House’s announcement that Wolf’s nomination had been pulled first looked like retribution for the statement he made, but CNN later reported that it had technically been withdrawn Wednesday, because no further action in the Senate was expected.
Wolf said on Thursday that he would remain in his post ‘to ensure the Department’s focus remains on the serious threats facing our country and an orderly transition to President-elect Biden’s DHS team.’
Other cabinet-level members of the administration were bailing, including Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
President-elect Joe Biden takes office on January 20 and the Senate is out of session until January 19, so no future Trump nominees will be considered.
Congressional Democrats – and some Republicans too – have urged Vice President Mike Pence to take up the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office after the president’s role in inciting the siege.
To do so, half the cabinet would have to agree with Pence.
It remains unclear if acting secretaries like Wolf would have been able to legally cast a vote.
With other members of the cabinet already quitting, the use of the 25th Amendment seems unlikely.
Throughout Trump’s presidency he’s had a number of ‘acting’ officials in cabinet-level positions.