A government watchdog has found that two top Department of Homeland Security officials are not eligible for their jobs — and Democrats want them to immediately "resign in disgrace."
The independent Government Accountability Office on Friday said that Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf and Kenneth Cuccinelli, his deputy, were appointed to their positions in violation of the Vacancies Reform Act, and the two top officials are "serving under an invalid order of succession," The Washington Post reports.
The watchdog explains that when former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned in 2019, the official who became acting secretary, Kevin McAleenan, "had not been designated in the order of succession to serve," and since "the incorrect official assumed the title of acting secretary at that time, subsequent amendments to the order of succession made by that official were invalid."
House Homeland Security Committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Committee on Oversight and Reform Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) in a statement called for the officials to resign, while Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) also said Wolf and Cuccinelli "must resign in disgrace" or be removed from office.
"There are also major questions about the legality of their actions over the last 16 months that the DHS Office of the Inspector General must swiftly review," Castro added.
A spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security in a statement per the Post said "we wholeheartedly disagree with the GAO's baseless report and plan to issue a formal response to this shortly."