Senior Commerce cybersecurity official resigns after Capitol riot

Senior Commerce cybersecurity official resigns after Capitol riot
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John Costello, a senior official for intelligence and security operations at the Department of Commerce, on Thursday announced his resignation in the wake of the riots at the U.S. Capitol.

“Today, I resigned my position as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Security at the Department of Commerce,” Costello wrote in a statement he tweeted 

The now-former senior Commerce Department official pointed squarely to President TrumpDonald TrumpGaetz was denied meeting with Trump: CNN Federal Reserve chair: Economy would have been 'so much worse' without COVID-19 relief bills Police in California city declare unlawful assembly amid 'white lives matter' protest MORE’s actions before the violence at the Capitol building as the cause of his resignation.


Before the mob attacked the building, Trump on Wednesday gave a speech at a rally organized by his supporters in which he said, "We will never give up, we will never concede," referring to his loss against President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenFederal Reserve chair: Economy would have been 'so much worse' without COVID-19 relief bills Biden to meet Monday with bipartisan lawmakers about infrastructure Jill Biden gives shout out to Champ, Major on National Pet Day MORE

Following the rioters' breach at the Capitol, four people died and members of Congress were evacuated. 

“Yesterday’s events were an unprecedented attack on the core of our democracy—incited by a sitting president,” he wrote. “The president has long disregarded and diminished the rule of law and the constitution. Yesterday that culminated in violent sedition against the U.S. Congress for the purposes of overturning a legally recognized and valid election.”

Costello noted that “during my time in office, I strove to further cybersecurity and national security on behalf of the American people. I am sorry to leave that work unfinished, but yesterday’s events leave me no choice.”


Costello also serves on the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, a congressionally created group made up of members of Congress, federal officials and industry leaders that produced recommendations last year on how to secure the U.S. in cyberspace. 

He previously served as the director of Strategy, Policy and Plans at the predecessor agency to the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. 

Costello’s resignation came on the heels of a flurry of other senior Trump administration officials choosing to step down following Wednesday’s events at the Capitol. 

Former White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyHeadhunters having hard time finding jobs for former Trump officials: report Trump holdovers are denying Social Security benefits to the hardest working Americans Mulvaney calls Trump's comments on Capitol riot 'manifestly false' MORE on Thursday resigned from his post as the special envoy to Northern Ireland, and both deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger and Ryan Tully, the White House National Security Council's senior director for European and Russian affairs, also stepped down. 

Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamKayleigh McEnany joins Fox News as co-host of 'Outnumbered' Melania Trump says she was 'disappointed and disheartened' watching Capitol riots Trump resignations gaining steam MORE, the chief of staff to first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpTrump says Prince Philip's death an 'irreplaceable loss' for UK Twitter will not allow Trump account archive on platform Jill Biden unveils next phase of military families program MORE and former White House press secretary, submitted her resignation on Wednesday, while national security adviser Robert O’Brien and Transportation Secretary Elaine ChaoElaine ChaoTrump rips McConnell in speech to Republicans Headhunters having hard time finding jobs for former Trump officials: report The Hill's Morning Report - Biden shifts on filibuster MORE have also reportedly considered stepping down over the past day.