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Top DHS officials Wolf and Cuccinelli are not legally eligible to serve in their current roles, GAO


DP Veteran
Apr 29, 2012
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On an island. Not that one!
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Just baby steps toward an authoritarian oligarchy as Donnie continues to rely upon 'acting' appointees without Senate approval. He's been doing this since the beginning of his time in office but this little kerfuffle has some serious consequences - I think

Top DHS officials Wolf and Cuccinelli are not legally eligible to serve in their current roles, GAO finds

The top two officials at the Department of Homeland Security are serving unlawfully in their roles, the Government Accountability Office said Friday, dealing a rebuke to President Trump’s affinity for filling senior executive roles in his administration with “acting” leaders who lack Senate confirmation.

The GAO, an independent watchdog agency that reports to Congress, said Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, and Ken Cuccinelli, the acting deputy, are serving in an invalid order of succession under the Vacancies Reform Act.

Democrats in Congress called on the two men to resign, but DHS officials rejected the findings as “baseless.”

Trump has repeatedly circumvented the Senate confirmation process by installing appointees to interim positions, and then has left them in those roles indefinitely without a formal nomination or the backing of Congress.

According to the GAO, Trump’s installation of Wolf and Cuccinelli violated the law because of the sequence of events following the resignation of DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in April 2019. The official who assumed the title of acting secretary at that time, Kevin McAleenan, had not been designated in the order of succession, the GAO said.

Subsequent personnel moves were also therefore illegitimate, and Wolf and Cuccinelli “are serving under an invalid order of succession,” the agency found. The GAO said that it was referring the matter to the DHS inspector general for review and that any further actions would be up to Congress and the IG’s office.

"I sort of like 'acting,'" he told reporters in January, admitting that he was in "no hurry" to name permanent replacements to his Cabinet. "It gives me more flexibility."

Trump has often said he likes installing "acting" officials because it gives him more flexibility.
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