Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf on Monday grew to become the most recent Cabinet official to step down following final week’s lethal riot on 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 workers 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 stated his resignation will change into efficient at midnight. Pete Gaynor, the FEMA administrator, will take over because the performing secretary.
The mob assault in Washington as Congress was confirming President-elect Joe Biden’s win resulted within the demise of 5 folks, together with a Capitol police officer. His announcement follows the resignations of different Cabinet officers, together with Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who each cited President Donald Trump’s function in egging on the rioters. Wolf didn’t particularly cite the riots in his clarification for leaving, however he issued a strong statement on Thursday condemning the rioters.
“What transpired yesterday was tragic and sickening,” he stated. “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 additionally comes amid threats of additional unrest tied to Biden’s swearing-in subsequent week. A senior law enforcement official told NBC News that the FBI despatched a memo to regulation enforcement businesses throughout the nation warning of attainable armed protests in any respect 50 state Capitols and in Washington, D.C., beginning Jan. 16.
Wolf has been serving in an performing capability since November 2019. The final homeland safety secretary to be confirmed by the Senate, Kirstjen Nielsen, resigned in April 2019. Although Trump formally nominated Wolf for the job final summer season, Wolf has but to get a full vote within the Senate, maintaining his function as “acting.”
A federal choose dominated in November that Wolf has not been performing lawfully because 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 choose reaffirmed that ruling in December and reinstated the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — which Trump has tried to finish.
Trump is about to journey to Texas on Tuesday to go to a bit of the border wall.
Dartunorro Clark is a political reporter for NBC News.