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Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf Resigns, Citing ‘Recent Events’

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf’s interview with Axios.

By Steve Neavling

Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, announced his resignation Monday as federal authorities grapple with threats of violence ahead of Inauguration Day.

Wolf, who took the helm in November 2019, will continue as under secretary for policy. 

In a written message to DHS employees, Wolf said he is resigning because of “recent events,” citing court challenges over the legality of his appointment, The Associated Press reports.

“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 wrote. “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 defended his leadership, saying the department increased border security and safeguarded the 2020 election. 

“I leave knowing that the Department has positioned itself for an orderly and smooth transition to President-elect Biden’s DHS team,” he wrote. “Welcome them, educate them, and learn from them. They are your leaders for the next four years — a time which undoubtedly will be full of challenges and opportunities to show the American public the value of DHS and why it is worth the investment.”

Wolf replaced acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, who resigned after leading the agency for about six months. Wolf had served as chief of staff under Kirstjen Nielsen, who was the last Homeland Security secretary to be confirmed by the Senate. She resigned in April 2019.

Leading Homeland Security has been no easy task because Trump has demanded a secretary whose focus is clearly on immigration, which is only one part of the multi-faceted agency.

President elect-Joe Biden has nominated Alejandro Mayorkas to become the first immigrant and Hispanic to lead Homeland Security.


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FBI Warns of Armed Protests Planned at All 50 State Capitols Ahead of Inauguration

Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo via Shutterstock.

By Steve Neavling

An FBI bulletin warns that armed protesters are planning to gather at all 50 state capitols and the U.S. Capitol in the run-up to Inauguration Day.

The bureau also is aware of a group urging protesters to storm local, state and federal government courthouses and administrative buildings if President Trump is ousted from officer before President-elect Joe Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration. 

“The FBI received information about an identified armed group intending to travel to Washington, DC on 16 January,” the bulletin, obtained by ABC News, states. “They have warned that if Congress attempts to remove POTUS via the 25th Amendment, a huge uprising will occur.”

Local police agencies have been advised to boost security at state capitols following the siege at the U.S. Capitol. 

Democrats are calling on Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to remove Trump by invoking the 25th Amendment. In the U.S. House, Democrats are pledging to impeach Trump if he’s not removed by his Cabinet. 

In the meantime, the FBI is investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection and has received about 45,000 digital media tips. 

The storming of the Capitol led to the deaths of at least five people, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. 


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D.C. Mayor Urges Homeland Security to Take Extra Measures Ahead of Inauguration

By Steve Neavling

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser is urging the Department of Homeland Security to take extra measures to protect the capital ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. 

In a letter to acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf, Bowser called last week’s insurrection an “unprecedented terrorist attack” and outlined additional steps to secure the area between Jan. 11-24.

“While I will be reaching out to a broad range of local, regional and federal partners to enhance cooperation among our bodies, I strongly urge the United States Department of Homeland Security to adjust its approach to the Inauguration in several specific ways”, Bowser wrote in the letter.

The mayor is calling for steps beyond the ones taken during previous inaugurations. 

“We believe strongly that the 59th Presidential Inauguration on January 20 will require a very different approach than previous inaugurations given the chaos, injury, and death experienced at the United States Capitol during the insurrection,” Bowser wrote.

She also urged the acting attorney general to direct the FBI to “provide an intelligence and threat briefing on a daily basis” during the extended period.

In addition, Bowser is requesting coordination between federal law law enforcement agencies to protect federal buildings so that D.C. police can respond to issues throughout the city that are unrelated to the inauguration. 

The violence led to the deaths of five people, including a Capitol Police officer. 


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FBI Tipped Off Capitol Police about Potential for Violence at U.S. Capitol

U.S. Capitol

By Steve Neavling

The FBI warned U.S. Capitol Police about the potential for violence in Washington D.C. on Jan 6 and even visited more than a dozen extremists to encourage them not to attend the planned protest, NBC News reports.

The FBI and NYPD also passed on information to Capitol Police about the risk of violence as lawmakers planned to vote on the Electoral College. 

The report contradicts statements from some several law enforcement officials who claimed there was no evidence that protests would turn violent. 

Steven D’Antuono, head of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, said last week that “there was no indication that there was anything (planned) other than First Amendment-protected activity.”

Despite the warnings, Capitol Police were overwhelmed by violent Trump supporters who forced their way into the building. At least five people were killed, including a police officer. 

Now the FBI is asking for the public’s help tracking down rioters.


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Weekend Series on Crime History: Nixon Resigns


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Justice Department Considers Charges of Sedition Following Violence Capitol Siege

Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo via Shutterstock.

By Steve Neavling

President Trump supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday could face charges of seditious conspiracy, rioting and insurrection, Justice Department officials. 

Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin said Thursday that those charges are “on the table” as authorities investigate the insurrection and begin tracking down participants, CNBC reports

“All options are on the table,” Sherwin told reporters. 

So far, the Justice Department has filed more than 40 criminal cases. 

A U.S. Capitol Police officer was among a handful of people who died following the violence siege.


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Grenade Sought by ATF Exploded, Killed Teen in North Carolina

Grenade sold in North Carolina, via ATF.

By Steve Neavling

The ATF made an urgent public plea in late December for help tracking down a hand grenades that were “thought to be inert” after they were sold to unsuspecting customers at an antique mall in North Carolina. 

Unfortunately the ATF wasn’t able to locate one of the grenades before it exploded and killed a Virginia teenager two days before Christmas.

The grenade were sold at the Fancy Flea Antique Mall in Shallotte. 

The store owners thought the grenade was a dud, the ATF said in a news release. The ATF is asking for the public’s help tracking down the other grenades. 

“The grenades were thought to be ‘inert’ MK2 grenades, a style used during World War II,” the ATF said. “At the time of sale, neither the vendor nor buyer(s) believed the grenades to be functioning or hazardous.”


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Barr Slams Trump, Calling His Actions a ‘Betrayal’

By Allan Lengel

Ex- Attorney General William Barr is slamming President Donald Trump, a day after he egged on supporters, who ended up trashing the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Barr called Trump’s behavior as a “betrayal” of the presidency.

In a statement to the Associated Press, Barr said “orchestrating a mob to pressure Congress is inexcusable”

The violence has opened up Trump to a lot of criticism on Capitol Hill and beyond.


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