A growing number of Trump administration staffers and Cabinet secretaries have turned in their resignations in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol riots.
According to CNBC, the latest resignation from Trump’s Cabinet is Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, who wrote in a letter to his staff that his resignation was “warranted by recent events, including the ongoing and meritless court rulings regarding the validity of my authority as Acting Secretary.”
Wolf’s resignation marks the third Cabinet secretary to resign in less than a week.
How did this happen?
Wolf said that he had every intention of staying on until the end of Trump’s term in the White House, which will expire when President-elect Joe Biden is officially sworn in at the Jan. 20 Inauguration.
Wolf wrote in his letter that he was “saddened” to leave early but added, “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,” which was presumably a reference to the Capitol riots last week.
“This is unacceptable. These violent actions are unconscionable, and I implore the President and all elected officials to strongly condemn the violence that took place yesterday,” Wolf wrote in a statement.
Wolf, who has been in his official Cabinet position since November 2019, will pass the job to Pete Gaynor, who is currently the administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
His resignation followed two other Cabinet members, including former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Both women cited the Capitol riot as the reason for their early departure.
In his resignation letter, which can be read in its entirety in the tweet below, Wolf said that his resignation is also based on the controversy surrounding his appointment to the position last year. A federal judge ruled that Wolf was unlawfully appointed to his position, citing a violation of the rules of succession of a secretary leaving office.
Wolf’s letter to employees on his resignation:
“Unfortunately, this action is warranted by recent events, including the ongoing and meritless court rulings regarding the validity of my authority as Acting Secretary.”
He says FEMA Admin Pete Gaynor will serve as Acting Secretary pic.twitter.com/LKsyT9hhGz
— Sara Cook (@saraecook) January 11, 2021
Because of that ruling, the judge invalidated Wolf’s decision to cancel the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program which offers legal protections for children brought into the country illegally.
According to NPR, because the DHS is in charge of the U.S. Secret Service, Wolf’s sudden resignation has complicated the law enforcement organization’s operations during an already tumultuous transition period between Trump and Biden.