The Acting Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Chad wolf, announced on Monday his resignation effective as of midnight, days after the assault on the Capitol by protesters in favor of Donald Trump.
“I am saddened to take this step because I intended to serve until the end of this government,” Wolf said in an internal memo.
“Unfortunately, this action is justified by recent events, including ongoing and meritless court rulings regarding the validity of my authority as acting secretary, “he added.
Last Wednesday’s assault unleashed a string of resignations in the cabinet of the Republican president. Before Wolf, the secretaries of Education, Betsy DeVos, and of Transportation, Elaine Chao, among other officials, resigned.
When communicating his decision to DHS officials, this 45-year-old Republican, very loyal to Trump, did not explicitly mention the attack on Congress, which left five dead.
However, on Thursday he had issued a statement considering “tragic and disgusting” what happened and urging the president to “strongly condemn” the violence.
His departure also comes amid growing concerns about acts of violence during President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week.
Wolf has led the DHS since November 2019 on an interim basis, created after the attacks of September 11, 2001 to better coordinate the country’s security and migration policy, and has been involved in litigation over immigration measures by the Trump administration.
Trump had officially nominated him for the position in late August 2020, but the Senate never voted to confirm it. Therefore, the courts recently ruled that it is not legitimate and has invalidated its decisions.
When the new Congress was installed on January 3, Trump resubmitted Wolf’s candidacy to the Senate, which must be confirmed by members of the Cabinet, but withdrew it hours after Wolf’s criticism of the attack on the Capitol.
Pete Gaynor, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), would take over as acting secretary, Wolf said in his statement.
Separately, Wolf’s resignation comes a day before Trump travels to the US-Mexico border near Alamo, Texas, to inspect the erected border wall. Normally, Wolf would accompany the president on that trip.