Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., acting chairwoman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, sent a letter to the Comptroller General on Friday asking for an expedited review of the appointments. At issue is whether Kevin McAleenan, the former acting secretary until he recently resigned, had the authority to change the order of succession at the department, which he did on Nov. 8 prior to his departure.
“Recently released documents suggest that the installation of Mr. Wolf as the acting secretary may violate the law, as Mr. McAleenan may not have been lawfully serving as acting secretary. If so, numerous actions taken by both Mr. McAleenan and Mr. Wolf may be invalid, including Mr. Wolf’s designation Wednesday of Ken Cuccinelli as senior official performing the duties of the secretary,” they wrote. “This designation is the latest attempt to install Mr. Cuccinelli in a senior leadership position at the Department of Homeland Security when the administration knows that the Senate would not confirm him to that.”