Says ‘action is warranted by recent events’
With less than eight days to the expiration of his tenure on January 20, the gale of resignation from President Donald Trump-led administration is continuing unabated.
Latest on the list is Acting Secretary, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Chad Wolf, who indicated his intention to step down just before midnight Washington time on Monday, January 11, 2021.
Against the backdrop of last week’s deadly Capitol attack, egged on by Trump and some Republican lawmakers, Wolf said the decision was based on the reality that several courts have ruled on his appointment being unlawful.
In an email to staff on Monday, Wolf said: “Effective at 11.59pm today, I am stepping down as your Acting Secretary. I am saddened to take this step, as it was my intention to serve the Department until the end of this administration.
“Unfortunately, this action is warranted by recent events, including the ongoing and meritless court rulings regarding the validity of my authority as acting secretary.”
After calling the violence at the Capitol “tragic and sickening”, Wolf had urged Trump to condemn supporters who participated in the dastardly act, but the White House responded by announcing that it was withdrawing his nomination to lead the DHS. However, despite the move, he had remained in acting capacity as Secretary of the department.
Wolf had earlier said he would stay in his role until 20 January, when Joe Biden will be inaugurated president, in order to ensure an “orderly transition” to the new administration.
He is leaving the DHS meant to coordinate security for inauguration day with the DC Police, National Guard and other departments. Security is being amped up following last week’s violent breach of the capitol.
A federal judge in November found that Trump’s appointment of Wolf was unlawful. In August, the Government Accountability Office said Wolf was illegally appointed to his role. Wolf took the role of his former acting deputy Ken Cuccinelli, who also served in the position without congressional approval.