Vanessa Cárdenas: “To say that Chad Wolf and Ken Cuccinelli are corrupt political hacks is understating it.”
Washington, DC – Carol Leonnig and Maria Sacchetti report for the Washington Post that former acting – and unlawfully appointed – DHS leaders Chad Wolf and Ken Cuccinelli are in hot water for deleting texts related to the January 6th attack on the Capitol:
“Text messages for former President Donald Trump’s acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and acting deputy secretary Ken Cuccinelli are missing for a key period leading up to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.
… The telephone and text communications of Wolf and Cuccinelli in the days leading up to Jan. 6 could have shed considerable light on Trump’s actions and plans. In the weeks before the attack on the Capitol, Trump had been pressuring both men to help him claim the 2020 election results were rigged and even to seize voting machines in key swing states to try to ‘re-run’ the election.”
The story sparked Wolf to push back on Twitter about alleged “inaccuracies” in the Post report, which led to this delicious retort from article co-author Carol Leonnig:
“Chad, I don’t see you citing any inaccuracies. Please let us know what you believe they are and we will be happy to review. We reported the facts, as documented in correspondence with your former agency. 1) Your texts are missing.2) DHS said the reason is they reset your phone.”
There should be nothing surprising about Wolf and Cuccinelli conveniently doing Donald Trump’s bidding once again. As the below recap of lowlights remind us, both men have shown unflagging loyalty to Donald Trump and Stephen Miller instead of to the American people and the mission of DHS to protect the American public.
Here are just some of the reminders why Chad Wolf and Ken Cuccinelli are corrupt, political hacks with a disturbing fealty to Donald Trump:
- Helped minimize real threat of white supremacists and overhype the supposed threat of antifa: According to the New York Times “the department’s second-highest ranked official, Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, ordered Mr. Murphy to modify intelligence assessments to make the threat of white supremacy ‘appear less severe’ and include information on violent ‘left-wing’ groups and antifa.” (see here)
- Used the Department of Homeland Security as an arm of the Trump campaign: Chad Wolf oversaw a naturalization ceremony conducted illegally at the White House during the 2020 Republican Convention in an unmistakable violation of the Hatch Act. As the Post’s Phillip Bump wrote, “The recorded segment was as subtle as the interior design at Trump Tower, allowing Trump to extend graciousness to new Americans with the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, playing emcee.” (see here). Meanwhile, DHS erected billboards in Pennsylvania of “wanted” undocumented immigrants a month before the 2020 election in a battleground state, echoing Trump campaign claims and, as CBS News put it, exacerbating “ concerns about the politicization of immigration enforcement.” (see here) And Border Patrol – which is under DHS – released a lurid, racist and fictional propaganda video that cast Latino immigrants as killers to support the Trump campaign. (see here)
- Downplayed the potential threat of Russian election interference: DHS intelligence officer and whistleblower Brian Murphy asserted that “acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf instructed DHS officials … to ‘cease providing intelligence assessments on the threat of Russian interference’ and, instead, focus their efforts on gathering information related to activities being carried out by China and Iran.” (see CNN article here).
- Deployed DHS agents to pick up civilians in Portland: Wolf personally presided over the deployment to Portland, Oregon of DHS agents in unmarked uniforms and to pick up civilians on the streets and put them into unmarked vans (see here)
- Served unlawfully at DHS: According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), both Wolf and Cuccinelli were appointed and were serving unlawfully in their positions. (see here)
According to Vanessa Cárdenas, Deputy Director for America’s Voice:
“To say that Chad Wolf and Ken Cuccinelli are corrupt political hacks is understating it.
Instead of fulfilling their duties as public servants to advance DHS’ role in protecting Americans, Wolf and Cuccinelli have sought to advance the political interests of Donald Trump above all. The revelations about their involvement in deleting correspondence about January 6th is only surprising if you had forgotten their corruption and documented record of using DHS resources and personnel as a wing of the Trump re-election effort.
They embody the corruption, misplaced priorities, ugly nativism, and anti-democratic authoritarianism of the Trump-era Republican Party.”