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Tag: Chad Wolf

Former DHS Secretary Chad Wolf Launches New Consulting firm

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf.

By Steve Neavling

Former Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf is starting a new consulting firm with three other former senior officials. 

The firm, Wolf Global Advisors, will be tasked with advising companies, NGOs and government agencies on homeland and national security issues, Politico reports.

Joining Wolf are former acting chief of staff Scott Erickson, former deputy chief of staff Tyler Houlton and legislative affairs director Beth Spivey.

“During my time at DHS, I came to know and came to realize that a number of organizations, whether they’re companies or non-profits really struggle with assessing risk and security issues facing their respective organizations,” Wolf told Politico. “Others want to better understand the department, whether they’re regulated by the department, or perhaps they have technology or services to help the department better fulfill their mission.”

Wolf says he has a few clients already but declined to identify them. 

Wolf stepped down as acting secretary in January. 

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.

Chad Wolf Faces Pointed Questions at Homeland Security Confirmation Hearing

Acting Homeland Security Director Chad Wolf testifies before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf fielded pointed questions during his Senate confirmation Wednesday and denied a whistleblower’s allegations that he pressured employees to downplay Russian election interference.

Testifying before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Wolf called the whistleblower’s claims “patently false.”

In a written complaint in August, Brian Murphy, the former chief of intelligence at DHS, accused acting Wolf of directing him to suppress assessments on Russia and later withhold a report on Russian propaganda attacking Joe Biden’s mental health.

“It is patently false. It is a fabrication, completely,” Wolf told the committee.

Wolf said Murphy was reassigned to Homeland Security’s management division following news that his office collected intelligence on protesters and journalists in Portland. But in the complaint, Murphy said the real reason for his demotion was his raising concerns about the orders.

At the start of the hearing, Sen. Gar Peters, D-Mich., said, “Rhetoric and political ideology cannot drive intelligence reports, and it should not predetermine the actions of any federal department,” The Associated Press reports.

It’s not yet clear if Wolf has the votes to be confirmed.

Courts and the Government Accountability Office have both suggested Wolf is not legally qualified to hold the position because he was appointed through an invalid process.

Wolf is Trump’s fifth Homeland Security secretary. The last Senate-confirmed secretary was Kirstjen Nielsen, who was forced out in April 2019.

Homeland Security’s Chad Wolf Set for Confirmation Hearing Wednesday Amid Uncertainties

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Acing Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf is scheduled to appear before a Senate committee Wednesday for a confirmation hearing amid doubts about his legitimacy as a candidate.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee plans to introduce Wolf at the hearing after President Tump officially submitted his nomination for Wolf on Sept. 10.

Wolf is Trump’s fifth Homeland Security secretary, but his confirmation is anything but a certainty. The last Senate-confirmed secretary was Kirstjen Nielsen, who was forced out in April 2019.

Courts and the Government Accountability Office have both suggested Wolf is not legally qualified to hold the position because he was appointed through an invalid process.

“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 in August.

In a separate ruling last week, a Maryland judge blocked the Trump administration’s new asylum restrictions, saying Wolf appears to lack the authority to introduce them.

The White House has ignored the opinions and is moving forward with the nomination.

Whether Wolf has the votes to be confirmed remains unknown.

FBI Director Wray to Testify Before Congressional Committee, But Chad Wolf to Defy Subpoena to Attend

FBI Director Christopher Wray testifying before the House Judiciary Committee.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

FBI Director Christopher Wray is scheduled to testify before a House committee on Thursday about homeland security threats.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, who was subpoenaed to testify, said he does not plan to attend the hearing, The Washington Post reports.

The House Committee on Homeland Security hearing is expected to explore intelligence assessments, which likely will include interference in the presidential election. Senior federal officials warned last month that Russia is trying to undermine Joe Biden’s candidacy.

Officials have said they are increasing security to limit outside interference.

Judge: Acting Homeland Security Director Wolf Likely Serving in Role Unlawfully

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf is likely serving in his role unlawfully, a Maryland judge ruled said.

In the ruling, Judge Paula Xinis blocked the Trump administration’s new asylum restrictions because Wolf appears to lack the authority to introduce them, The Hill reports.

“In sum, the Court concludes that Plaintiffs are likely to demonstrate (former acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin) McAleenan’s appointment was invalid under the agency’s applicable order of succession, and so he lacked the authority to amend the order of succession to ensure Wolf’s installation as Acting Secretary,” Xinis’ said in a 69-page ruling on Friday.

The judge’s decision comes a month after the Government Accountability Office determined that Wolf and Ken Cuccinelli, a senior official performing deputy secretary duties, were not appointed through a valid process and therefore aren’t legally qualified to hold their positions. The GAO said their appointments violated the laws detailing who can fill Senate-confirmed posts.

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

Whistleblower Accuses DHS of Suppressing Reports on Russian Election Interference

Russian President Vladimir Putin

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A whistleblower says he and other Homeland Security analysts were ordered to downplay Russian election interference because it “made Trump look bad.”

In a written complaint, Brian Murphy, the Homeland Security official, accuses acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf of directing him to suppress assessments on Russia and later withhold a report on Russian propaganda attacking Joe Biden’s mental health, The New York Times reports.

The directives amounted to a national security threat, Murphy said.

Murphy also says Kenneth Cuccinelli II, the second in command at Homeland Security, directed him to water down threats of white supremacy to make them “appear less severe” and to add information on violent “left-wing” groups.

In August, Murphy was reassigned to Homeland Security’s management division following news that his office collected intelligence on protesters and journalists in Portland. But in the complaint, Murphy said the real reason for his demotion was his raising concerns about the orders.

“Mr. Murphy followed proper, lawful whistle-blower rules in reporting serious allegations of misconduct against D.H.S. leadership, particularly involving political distortion of intelligence analysis and retaliation,” Mark S. Zaid, Murphy’s lawyer, said in a statement.

Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee are calling on Murphy to testify during a private session on Sept. 21.

“We will get to the bottom of this, expose any and all misconduct or corruption to the American people, and put a stop to the politicization of intelligence,” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and chairman of the committee said.

Calling Murphy a “disgruntled former employee,” a White House spokeswoman said Murphy had “never sought to dictate the intelligence community’s focus on threats to the integrity of our elections or on any other topic.”

Homeland Security spokesman Alexei Woltornist also rejected the allegations.

“We flatly deny that there is any truth to the merits of Mr. Murphy’s claim,” Woltornist said. “D.H.S. looks forward to the results of any resulting investigation, and we expect it will conclude that no retaliatory action was taken against Mr. Murphy.”

Trump to Nominate Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf to Permanent Role

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

President Trump on Tuesday announced he will nominate acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf to the role permanently.

Wolf has been serving as acting secretary since November, when he became the fifth leader of Homeland Security under Trump.

“I am pleased to inform the American Public that Acting Secretary Chad Wolf will be nominated to be the Secretary of Homeland Security,” Trump announced on Twitter. “Chad has done an outstanding job and we greatly appreciate his service!”

Wolf said in a statement, “As the homeland faces evolving threats from natural disasters, violent opportunists, malign cyber actors, and transnational criminal organizations, the mission of DHS is as critical as ever.”

Last week, the Government Accountability Office determined that Wolf was not qualified to hold the acting position because he was appointed through an invalid process.

Acting Homeland Security general counsel Chad Mizelle dismissed the findings as politically motivated.

“The GAO should rescind its erroneous report immediately,” Mizelle wrote in a letter to the congressional watchdog agency.

Wolf replaced acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, who resigned in November 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.