Congressional watchdog finds DHS Wolf and Cuccinelli cannot legally hold their positions

GGAO found that both officials, who were elevated to their roles without Senate confirmation, sidestepped Congress in a way that was not permitted.

The appointments of the top two officials at the Department of Homeland Security violated federal law, the Government Accountability Office said on Friday.

GAO, which is an independent watchdog agency that reports to Congress, said that Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf and his deputy Kenneth Cuccinelli are serving under an invalid order of succession under the Vacancies Reform Act.

The Vacancies Reform Act governs how temporary appointments can be made to positions that require Senate confirmation. President Trump has repeatedly circumvented the Senate confirmation process by placing people in acting positions — including Wolf and Cuccinelli, whose official title is Senior Official Performing the Duties of Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security.

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