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(Likely) Illegal Federal Crackdown Commanded by (Likely) Illegal Acting Cabinet Secretary

This is an unauthorized photo of a federal courthouse tweeted by Chad Wolf. I’m sure he’s not worried about losing his job because he might not actually have it to begin with.

Greetings from the town previously known as “Portlandia”.

Turns out that absolute shitshow that the acting Minister of Interior – I mean acting DHS secretary – is putting on here (largely in the hands of US Customs and Border Protection) is directed by a guy who Trump didn’t want to risk putting up for confirmation in a McConnell-led Senate. This is, of course, in-keeping with a sociopath acting like a President.

Trump has made use of acting Cabinet officials in ways with no apparent precedent. As I wrote back in February, by that point he had had acting officials in Cabinet-level jobs for more than 2,700 combined days across 22 jobs — about 1 out of every 9 total days. That compared to about 1 out of every 29 for President Barack Obama. (“I like ‘acting’ because I can move so quickly,” he told CBS’s “Face The Nation” last year, adding, “It gives me more flexibility.”)

And Trump exploited acting officials at DHS like nowhere else. The agency has been run by an acting secretary — first Kevin McAleenan and now Wolf — for the past 469 days. That’s equal to more than 15 months and nearly 37 percent of his entire presidency. In that entire time, Trump has failed to even nominate a permanent DHS secretary for the Senate’s consideration.

In other words: The person calling the shots was never confirmed by the Senate after taking over for someone else never confirmed by the Senate. Turns out, this is illegal.

[T]he Federal Vacancies Reform Act only allows acting officials to serve for 210 days after a vacancy is declared or a new permanent head is nominated and rejected. Wolf has served 251 days. Because a new nomination hasn’t been announced, much less rejected, the clock has never reset.

Trump’s never been a fan of HR red tape, preferring instead to pepper his cabinet with fascists, sycophants, and fall guys.

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