Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf on Monday became the latest Cabinet official to step down following last week's deadly riot at the U.S. C
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf on Monday became the latest Cabinet official to step down following last week’s deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol.
“Unfortunately, this action is warranted by recent events, including the ongoing and meritless court rulings regarding the validity of my authority as Acting Secretary,” Wolf in a letter to staff obtained by NBC News. “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.”
Wolf said his resignation will become effective at midnight. Pete Gaynor, the FEMA administrator, will take over as the acting secretary.
The mob attack in Washington as Congress was confirming President-elect Joe Biden’s win resulted in the death of five people, including a Capitol police officer. His announcement follows the resignations of other Cabinet officials, including Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who both cited President Donald Trump’s role in egging on the rioters. Wolf did not specifically cite the riots in his explanation for leaving, but he issued a strong statement on Thursday condemning the rioters.
“What transpired yesterday was tragic and sickening,” he said. “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. 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.”
His exit also comes amid threats of further unrest tied to Biden’s swearing-in next week. A senior law enforcement official told NBC News that the FBI sent a memo to law enforcement agencies across the country warning of possible armed protests at all 50 state Capitols and in Washington, D.C., starting Jan. 16.
Wolf has been serving in an acting capacity since November 2019. The last homeland security secretary to be confirmed by the Senate, Kirstjen Nielsen, resigned in April 2019. Although Trump formally nominated Wolf for the job last summer, Wolf has yet to get a full vote in the Senate, keeping his role as “acting.”
A federal judge ruled in November that Wolf has not been acting lawfully as the chief of Homeland Security and that, as such, his suspension of protections for a class of migrants brought to the United States illegally as children is invalid. The judge reaffirmed that ruling in December and reinstated the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — which Trump has tried to end.
Trump is set to travel to Texas on Tuesday to visit a section of the border wall.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Nbcnews.com