Last week, the Department of Homeland Security discussed with Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell the possibility of nominating the candidate for election in the coming weeks – a step that seems to acknowledge both the imminent change of government and the criticism of the invalidity of the Wolf’s nomination.
The final push symbolises the way the Ministry of Homeland Security has worked over the past four years. Under Donald Trump’s presidency, DHS, the third largest federal agency, had five secretaries, only two of whom were confirmed by the Senate, and there was a flurry of questions about the legitimacy and authority of those running the current structures.
When the leaders arrived and left, DHS highlighted some of Trump’s most controversial policies, including the zero tolerance policy that led to the separation of thousands of families on the U.S.-Mexico border and a series of policies that made it extremely difficult for migrants to seek asylum in the United States, along with other changes to the immigration system.
President-elect Joe Biden will inherit the department, which was defeated and dragged into politics; his broad mandate was compromised by Trump’s emphasis on immigration and border security.
There’s a lot of damage that needs to be repaired, a CNN official said.
Since its foundation after the 11th century. Since September, when 22 separate government agencies were merged into one, the Ministry of National Security has struggled to master its complex administrative structure and establish itself as an effective agency at Cabinet level, according to the 2018 Government Accountability Office report. It has also proven itself for years as a law enforcement agency on an equal footing with the FBI and others.
Despite attempts to appear apolitical, the ministry was plunged into a political maelstrom under Trump’s leadership. This week, two DHS employees were forced to resign by the White House, according to sources familiar with the layoffs.
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On Thursday, a high-ranking official from the Ministry of Health resigned due to blackmail of national security by the Trump board. Brian Vare worked as deputy director of Cyber Security at the Cyber and Infrastructure Security Agency. And DHS Assistant Secretary for International Affairs Valerie Boyd also resigned under pressure from the White House, according to official sources on CNN.
In recent months, Wolf’s appointment by the Office of Public Accountability and the Federal Supreme Court has been overturned, giving rise to fears that his actions will be subject to increased scrutiny by the new government.
In August, the GAO, acting as a supervisory committee of the Congressional government, reaffirmed that Wolf and Ken Cucinelli, the senior official acting as assistant secretary, had been appointed under an invalid succession plan, despite their dismissal by DHS. A federal judge in Maryland also ruled that Wolf may have served illegally.
In short, I think the efforts to confirm this were largely focused on ratifying all programs and policies that could be overturned by the courts holding his current appointment, said Steve Vladeck, a CNN legal analyst and professor at the University of Texas School of Law.
From the point of view of the new government, which will abandon the policy of this administration, it should make no difference whether the announcement is made by a secretary approved by the Senate or whether someone carries out the tasks of that function legally, Vladek added.
McConnell spokesman Doug Andres told CNN Thursday that there is currently no update of the program or instructions. DHS refused to comment.
Wolf has questions about his appointment
The wolf, acting head of department, is the result of a constant and often brutal change of leadership in the higher ranks. The former secretaries tried to resolve Trump and then had to face the President’s anger, which the department saw as a political tool to facilitate his re-election.
During his long tenure, Wolfe Trump’s message of law and order was followed, he preached in Portland, Oregon, during the summer because of ongoing civil unrest, and he travelled the country in the final weeks of the presidential election to highlight the government’s record on immigration.
Meanwhile, current and former officials of the Department of National Security have warned that the increasing politicisation of law enforcement threatens to undermine public confidence in the department. However, the trump card eventually attracted attention by mentioning the wolf at a series of public events and giving him a compliment.
Shortly after the GAO report was released in late August, Trump announced its intention to appoint Wolf as Minister of National Security – a surprising move, given Trump’s preference for cabinet members to fill the position because, he said, it gives him more flexibility. A month later, the Senate’s Committee on National Security paved the way for the confirmation of the Senate vote after a vote led by a party.
Senate National Security President Ron Johnson said he was unaware of any attempt to get confirmation for Wolf after the committee approved it in September.
Anything we can do to find out what the politicians are would be good, the Wisconsin Republican said, adding that it would be a good argument to corroborate it, citing the idea of keeping DHS politicians from trump policy.
Without confirmation, Wolf’s appointment – and that of the politician appointed during his term of office – will continue to raise questions.
A federal judge in New York City applied for wolf status in October, he wrote: The DUS Decision (TTP Decision) was confirmed in a letter dated 5 January 2009. This was announced on February 2, 2020, by defendant Chad Wolfe, the alleged acting Minister of National Security, who cited the decision to exclude New Yorkers from participation in certain trusted travel programs.
The Court seemingly uses this word because there are doubts about the fact that Wolf legally exercised the powers of the acting Minister of National Security in accordance with the judgment then (and now).
In response to requests from the U.S. Supreme Court and Federal Courts, the Division confirmed and ratified the previous actions of DHS during Mr. Wolf’s tenure as Acting Secretary, as recorded in the Federal Register.
The Department stated that the ratification has been carried out with great care, given the difficulties encountered in the appointment process.
You need a reset.
Gradually, the names of possible secretaries in the Biden administration have been released, including Alejandro Mayorcas and Lisa Monaco, both of whom served under President Barack Obama and have experience in the field of national security.
They need a fresh start, a former national security officer told CNN. They need a new secretary to say we don’t do politics here.
Biden wasn’t expecting cabinet appointments for Thanksgiving, he said, and advisors added that the target date was early December.
The first round of announcements is likely to include those that work in the health, economic and defense sectors, officials said, while other cabinet members are likely to remain in detention until early January, when the results of the run-off election for the U.S. Senate in Georgia will be known and it will be clear whether Republicans have retained control of the Senate.
The ministry has been preparing transition documents for the next government for several months, but direct contact with the Biden team has been blocked because Trump refuses to give up the elections.
If the General Services Administration recognizes Biden as the election winner and the elected president, the transition will be quick, a ministry official said.
Mark Coomans, a former DHS officer leading the department’s transition, recently reminded the staff that until the GSA issues a statement, employees cannot speak directly to members of the Biden group and must continue to go through the department’s transition office, a departmental officer CNN said.
Jeff Greenie and Ted Barrett of CNN contributed to this report.
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