Schumer calls for Wolf, Cuccinelli to step down after watchdog says their appointments violate law

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerRepublican senator says plans to confirm justice before election 'completely consistent with the precedent' Video of Lindsey Graham arguing against nominating a Supreme Court justice in an election year goes viral Graham signals support for confirming a Supreme Court nominee this year MORE (D-N.Y.) is calling for acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad WolfChad WolfSenate to hold nomination hearing for Wolf next week Hillicon Valley: FBI chief says Russia is trying to interfere in election to undermine Biden | Treasury Dept. sanctions Iranian government-backed hackers Democrats slam DHS chief for defying subpoena for testimony on worldwide threats MORE and acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli to step down after a government watchdog found that their appointments violated federal law. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden leads Trump by 36 points nationally among Latinos: poll Trump dismisses climate change role in fires, says Newsom needs to manage forest better Jimmy Kimmel hits Trump for rallies while hosting Emmy Awards MORE’s efforts to install political sycophants to implement his extreme policies in an end run around the law and Senate have finally caught up with him," Schumer said in a statement. 

“The determination by an independent congressional watchdog today invalidates actions Mr. Cuccinelli and Mr. Wolf have taken and both should immediately step down from their illegal roles," he added. 

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Schumer is also asking for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) inspector general to "launch a top to bottom legal review" of decisions made by the two men, report its findings to Congress and also release them publicly. 

Wolf and Cuccinelli have come under criticism over immigration policy and recent crackdowns on protests.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO), in a report released earlier Friday, found that they are technically ineligible to serve based on their improper appointment. The office did not review the legality of the two men’s orders while serving in their positions improperly, but said they were referring the matter to the DHS inspector general.

Former DHS Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenDHS IG won't investigate after watchdog said Wolf, Cuccinelli appointments violated law Appeals court sides with Trump over drawdown of immigrant protections Democrats smell blood with new DHS whistleblower complaint MORE resigned in April 2019 and was replaced by Kevin McAleenan, who had previously been leading U.S. Customs and Border Protection. But the GAO found that McAleenan had not been designated in the order of succession to replace Nielsen and therefore could not legally alter the order of succession at DHS.

"Accordingly, Messrs. Wolf and Cuccinelli were named to their respective positions of Acting Secretary and Senior Official Performing the Duties of Deputy Secretary by reference to an invalid order of succession," the GAO found.