Acting Secretary of Homeland Secretary Chad Wolf resigned days after the riots on Capitol Hill last Wednesday.

Wolf told his colleagues that his resignation “is warranted by recent events, including the ongoing and meritless court rulings regarding the validity of my authority as Acting Secretary.”

FEMA administrator Pete Gaynor will take over as Acting Secretary.

Court Rulings

In November, a federal judge in New York City ruled that Wolf “has not been acting lawfully as” DHS secretary. Therefore, “his suspensions of protections for a class of migrants brought to the United States as children is invalid.” From The Washington Post:

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that the Trump administration wrongly tried to shut down protections under the Obama-era legislation known as DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. On July 28, Wolf nonetheless suspended DACA pending review.

Judge Nicholas Garaufis said court conferences would be held to work out details of his ruling.

Although President Donald Trump formally nominated Wolf for the job in summer, Wolf has yet to get a full vote in the Senate, keeping his role as “acting.” Garaufis cited the Government Accountability Office, which wrote in a report to Congress in August that Wolf was the beneficiary of an “invalid order of succession.”

The judge described an illegitimate shuffling of leadership chairs at the Department of Homeland Security, the agency responsible for immigration enforcement, for the predicament of Wolf’s leadership and that of his predecessor, Kevin McAleenan.

“Based on the plain text of the operative order of succession,” Garaufis wrote in the Saturday ruling, “neither Mr. McAleenan nor, in turn, Mr. Wolf, possessed statutory authority to serve as Acting Secretary. Therefore the Wolf Memorandum was not an exercise of legal authority.”

The Riots

Wolf described the riots as “tragic and sickening.” From Oregon Live:

On Thursday, amid a spate of resignations in Washington and talk of invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump from office, Wolf urged the president to condemn the assault on the Capitol. Wolf, the point person for some of Trump’s most controversial crackdowns on immigration and domestic disturbances, asked “the president and all elected officials to strongly condemn the violence that took place yesterday.”

Wolf had said Thursday he would remain until President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration in less than two weeks to ensure an “orderly transition” at the Homeland Security Department.

“These violent actions are unconscionable, and I implore the President and all elected officials to strongly condemn the violence that took place yesterday,” Wolf said. “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.”

Trump withdrew his support for Wolf 90 minutes later.

Trump did this despite Wolf siding with him when it came to left-wing violence over the summer. Mayors of leftist cities criticized Wolf and Trump when they sent in federal agents to protect federal buildings.


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