Top Trump official rescinds then reissues resignation letter to say departure is in protest

The Trump administration’s top arms official this week rescinded and then reissued his resignation letter to cite the pro-Trump mob that overtook the Capitol as the reason for his departure. 

According to The Washington Post, Christopher Ford, the assistant secretary for international security and nonproliferation, initially sent a resignation letter to staff on Thursday, titled “A fond impending farewell.” 

The letter did not mention Wednesday’s events at the Capitol and instead said that serving in his role at the State Department was the “highlight of my professional career” and an “extraordinary honor and privilege.”

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The initial letter added that Ford’s last day would be “a week from tomorrow.” 

On Friday, the Post reported that Ford sent a follow-up email to staff with a revised letter, adding that he was stepping down from his role “effective immediately.” 

“I must reconsider that timeline,” Ford wrote. “I cannot continue to serve in an administration at a time in which some are willing to condone, or even to incite, violent insurrection against the country I hold dear and whose Constitution I have taken a sacred oath to support and defend.”

Ford said in a phone call with the Post that he “stewed” on the decision to send a new letter since Thursday morning, adding that it “became clear” that his original departure letter “wasn’t adequate and the events were such that I wanted to say more and do more, so I moved up the timing and walked out the door immediately.”

Ford’s departure comes as other administration officials and top Cabinet members have resigned from their posts after Wednesday’s riot, which saw Trump supporters storm the Capitol after the president urged them at a rally earlier in the day to march toward the building to protest the Electoral College vote in favor of President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenDearborn office of Rep. Debbie Dingell vandalized Pfizer to apply for COVID-19 booster approval for 16- and 17-year-olds: report Coronavirus variant raises fresh concerns for economy MORE.

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Five people died amid the chaos, including a woman who was shot by a Capitol Police officer and an officer who died after sustaining injuries while responding to the riot. Both fatalities are under investigation.

Transportation Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine ChaoMnuchin, Pompeo mulled plan to remove Trump after Jan. 6: book Saluting FOIA on its birthday House passes bill to strengthen authority of federal watchdogs MORE and Education Secretary Betsy DeVosBetsy DeVosMnuchin, Pompeo mulled plan to remove Trump after Jan. 6: book Republicans look to education as winning issue after Virginia successes McAuliffe rolls out new ad hitting back at Youngkin on education MORE have both submitted resignation letters to Trump in the days since the riots. 

In a letter to staff, Chao, who is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Defense & National Security — US, Iran return to negotiating table Senate GOP blocks defense bill, throwing it into limbo On The Money — Biden stresses calm amid omicron fears MORE (R-Ky.), said the events at the Capitoltroubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside.”

DeVos also cited the pro-Trump mob as the reason for her departure, writing in her resignation letter to Trump, “There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me."