The department was also suffering from a lack of leadership even before Mr Wolf stepped down days after the siege in part, he said, due to court rulings claiming he had been illegally appointed to his post. . Customs and border protection is headed by an acting official and the Government Accountability Office has also released a report indicating that Mr. Cuccinelli has been unlawfully appointed to the Department of Homeland Security. Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Jonathan Fahey resigned after less than a month on the job on Wednesday, according to Jenny Burke, a spokesperson for ICE.
Representative Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, called the timing of Mr. Wolf’s departure “questionable” given the ministry’s responsibility to help secure the inauguration.
“He chose to step down during a time of national crisis and when national terrorists can plan additional attacks on our government,” said Mr. Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi.
Mr. Wolf has been replaced by Peter T. Gaynor, the highly respected former administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Secret Service is leading security planning for the inauguration.
The top echelons of the Justice Department were also hollowed out in the days leading up to the Capitol attack. Under Mr Barr’s leadership, Senate-confirmed civil and criminal division heads left amid complaints that Mr Barr routinely excluded senior officials, including Mr Rosen, from and deferred to key decisions. rather to a small circle of advisers in his office and a handful of privileged American lawyers, according to five current and former officials.
As Mr. Trump lambasted Mr. Barr for not helping to attempt to overturn the election, he resigned last month, leaving the department in the hands of Mr. Rosen, a white-collar lawyer who had never previously worked in the department and who had no experience as a prosecutor.
And although Mr. Wray was confirmed to lead the FBI in 2017, he was crippled by Mr. Trump’s poor vision of the office. Mr Trump’s decision to allow him to stay was influenced by advisers who said the president could run more legal risk with an FBI director appointed by Mr Biden than if Mr Wray continued, officials said administration.