THE NEUTRAL ZONE
President Donald Trump said he will nominate acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf for leadership of the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday. Wolf has served in an acting capacity since last November. Kirstjen Nielsen, the last Homeland secretary confirmed by the Senate, resigned in April 2019. Wolf has been serving as acting secretary but has not been officially confirmed by the Senate.
President Trump said on Twitter, “I am pleased to inform the American Public that Acting Secretary Chad Wolf will be nominated to be the Secretary of Homeland Security. Chad has done an outstanding job and we greatly appreciate his service!” Wolf responded by thanking the president, adding, “As the Homeland faces evolving threats from natural disasters, violent opportunists, malign cyber actors & transnational criminal orgs, the mission of DHS is as critical as ever.”
Two weeks ago, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that Wolf and his acting deputy, Ken Cuccinelli, were named to their roles in violation of the Vacancies Reform Act due to the lack of a Senate confirmation. House Homeland Security Chair Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and House Oversight Chair Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., first asked the GAO to look into Wolf’s appointment and have since called on him and Cuccinelli to resign.
The DHS rebuked the GAO’s report as a “brazenly partisan product issued by supposed nonpartisan agency” and stated that Wolf and Cuccinelli were lawfully performing their current roles.
It isn’t clear whether the Senate will have enough time to confirm Wolf before the November election given that the Senate is not currently in session, or whether he will earn enough support to win confirmation.
Trump to Nominate Chad Wolf for Department of Homeland Security Secretary – National Review – 8/25/2020
The announcement came two weeks after the Government Accountability Office said Wolf was not appointed to the position legally. The DHS has pushed back on the GAO report. “We vehemently disagree with what the GAO had put out,” Wolf told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday. Wolf added, “I strongly believe that the [DHS] needs a confirmed secretary.”
Trump says he’ll nominate Chad Wolf to be Homeland Security secretary – Axios – 8/25/2020
Although some hardliners were skeptical of Wolf’s commitment to Trump’s immigration agenda when he was chosen to lead the agency as acting secretary late last year, he has consistently been supportive of Trump— no more clearly than in his repeated defense of sending federal agents into Portland.
Trump To Officially Nominate Chad Wolf To Secretary Of Homeland Security – The Daily Caller – 8/25/2020
Wolf squared off with officials in Oregon and Portland earlier this month over Trump’s deployment of federal agents to the city. Criticism arose after several videos showed police carrying out arrests in unmarked vans. “Our law enforcement officers are not the Gestapo, storm troopers or thugs,” Wolf testified to the Senate on Aug 6. “Enforcing federal law is not by invitation.”
GOP, White House Showcase Their Control Over Levers Of Power In Unprecedented Infomercial – Talking Points Memo – 8/25/2020
An announcer — booming but nameless and faceless — identified Wolf by his official title: “Acting Secretary Wolf, I present to you five candidates for naturalization representing five countries.” And Wolf, who a congressional watchdog office recently found was not even in the “acting” position legally, went through with it: Five naturalizations, filmed for the Republican Party. […] Some experts noted that the proceedings appeared to violate the Hatch Act, which forbids executive branch officials from politicizing their roles.