Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, has resigned over the storming of the US Capitol by outgoing President Donald Trump's supporters.
His resignation comes amidst Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) warning of a nationwide "armed protests" being planned in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's January 20 inauguration.
Wolf -- whose department oversees numerous federal law enforcement bodies and also is in charge of security for Biden's inauguration ceremony -- said last week that he was staying in his position until the end of Trump's administration on January 20.
"I am saddened to take this step, as it was my intention to serve the department until the end of this administration," Wolf wrote in an email to the staff of the Department of Homeland Security on Monday.
"Unfortunately, this action is warranted by recent events, including the ongoing and merit-less court rulings regarding the validity of my authority as Acting Secretary. These events and concerns increasingly serve to divert attention and resources away from the important work of the department in this critical time of a transition of power," he said. His resignation comes into effect from Monday midnight.
Peter Gaynor, Administrator of Federal Emergency Management Agency, replaces Wolf as DHA acting secretary for the remaining duration of the Trump administration.
Wolf has strongly condemned the violence at the Capitol.
He is the third Cabinet member of the Trump administration to resign after the January 6 incident that resulted in the death of five people, including a police officer. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the Transportation Secretary Elain Chao resigned last week.
Congressman Bennie Thompson, Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, in a statement said for months Wolf has been serving illegally in his position.
So the timing of his resignation from the Department today is questionable. He has chosen to resign during a time of national crisis and when domestic terrorists may be planning additional attacks on our government. Unlike others, he is apparently not leaving the Trump administration on principle, he said.
If it is true he is resigning because of recent Federal court decisions, then it is an admission that his policy decisions are indeed invalid. Under this scenario, Ken Cuccinelli must also resign, Thompson said.
Cuccinelli is the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security.
Wolf joins a growing exodus of officials in the final days of the Trump administration.
US Deputy National Security Advisor Matt Pottinger, first lady Melania Trump's chief of staff Stephanie Grisham, White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Matthews, White House social secretary Rickie Niceta, US special envoy for Northern Ireland Mick Mulvaney, acting chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors Tyler Goodspeed and deputy assistant secretary for intelligence and security at the Commerce Department John Costello are among the officials who have resigned over the Capitol violence.
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