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Two Top Homeland Security Officials Were Illegally Appointed, Not Qualified to Hold Posts

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The top two acting Homeland Security leaders were not appointed through a valid process and therefore aren’t legally qualified to hold their positions, the Government Accountability Office has determined.

The appointments of Chad Wolf, acting Department of Homeland Security secretary, and Ken Cuccinelli, a senior official performing deputy secretary duties, violated the laws detailing who can fill Senate-confirmed posts, the GAO said. They have been serving in their positions since November.

“Because the incorrect official assumed the title of acting secretary at that time, subsequent amendments to the order of succession made by that official were invalid,” the GAO said Friday, as reported by The New York Times.

Without the ability to enforce its findings, the GAO was referring the case to Homeland Security’s inspector General and Congress.

The White House said it’s not acting on the findings.

“D.H.S. is expressly authorized by Congress in the Homeland Security Act to designate its acting secretaries,” Judd Deere, a White House spokesman, said. “G.A.O. is not. And G.A.O.’s opinion substituting its views for that of the agency’s is not only wrong, but laughable.”

Some Democrats called for the officials to resign and said their policy decisions could be invalidated.

“President Trump’s efforts to install political sycophants to implement his extreme policies in an end run around the law and Senate have finally caught up with him,” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. said in a statement. “The determination by an independent congressional watchdog today invalidates actions Mr. Cuccinelli and Mr. Wolf have taken and both should immediately step down from their illegal roles.”


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