US Homeland Security chief resigns as fears rise over more pro-Trump violence
Iran Press TV
Tuesday, 12 January 2021 6:49 AM
US Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf has resigned unexpectedly Monday, becoming the third member of the Trump administration to step down in reaction to last week's attack on Capitol by Trump supporters.
Wolf's departure as head of the body in charge of security for President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on January 20 came as worries rose over more violence during the inauguration.
"I am saddened to take this step, as it was my intention to serve the department until the end of this administration," Wolf said.
The White House declined to comment.
Wolf resigned five days after President Trump's supporters stormed the US Capitol, hoping to prevent Biden from replacing him.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao had earlier resigned n the aftermath of the Capitol siege.
The FBI has warned that armed Trump supporters could hold protests in all 50 states between the coming weekend and January 20, according to US media.
The White House issued a statement saying that Trump had "declared that an emergency exists in the District of Columbia and ordered Federal assistance to supplement the District's response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from the 59th Presidential Inauguration from January 11 to January 24, 2021."
It said the order gave the Department of Homeland Security the authority to act "to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the District of Columbia."
Federal, city officials blame game over Capitol siege
Meanwhile, federal and city officials continued to point fingers over who was responsible for the Capitol assault last Wednesday, when the Congressional police force was overwhelmed by thousands of Trump supporters.
Two Capitol police officers were suspended as Washington continued to deal with the fallout of the riot ahead of Biden's inauguration next week.
10 to 15 police officers were under investigation in relation to the Capitol siege, which led to the deaths of five people and interruption of the congressional certification of the US November election results.
US lawmakers are angry why the Capitol was so easily breached by the Trump supporters and as officials frantically prepared to tighten security ahead of Biden's inauguration.
Steven Sund, outgoing Capitol Police chief, blamed the officials for the attack, saying their delays and refusals to grant him swift help from the National Guard contributed to his forces being swiftly overwhelmed by the pro-Trump mob, The Washington Post said Monday.
On Monday, Democratic Mayor of Washington, Muriel Bowser, said she had written to the president to request that he declare Washington to be in a state of "pre-emergency disaster" so the US capital could prepare a more effective security plan for Biden's inauguration.
"This is necessary because the inauguration poses several unprecedented challenges that exceed the scope of our traditional planning processes," said Bowser.
"We are asking Americans not to come to Washington DC for the 59th presidential inauguration on January 20 and to instead participate virtually," the mayor of Washington added.
Democrats are now seeking to force Trump from office prematurely, accusing him of fomenting and applauding what they branded an "insurrection" and "coup" attempt last week.
That could further spark violence by Trump supporters, the FBI warned.
The FBI said that far-right groups like the violent Boogaloo Boys are planning protests around the country timed to the inauguration.
One group, the FBI said, "warned that if Congress attempts to remove POTUS (Trump) via the 25th Amendment a huge uprising will occur."
The Pentagon said it had authorized 15,000 National Guard troops to be deployed for Biden's inauguration.
Already 6,200 troops are on the ground in Washington, and a total of 10,000 are planned by the coming weekend, said General Daniel Hokanson, chief of the Defense Department's National Guard Bureau.
Another 5,000 could be deployed by the day of the inauguration, he said.
Trump has already said he will not attend the inauguration of US President-elect Biden, who is faced by a country deeply divided over politics and hobbled by the coronavirus pandemic.
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