Chad Wolf and Ken Cuccinelli serving at Homeland Security in violation of federal law: GAO report - 2020-08-20
The word "acting" has been used extensively during Donald Trump's presidency, as Trump has often found it easier to appoint his friends temporarily than have them permanently confirmed by the U.S. Senate. One such official is Chad F. Wolf, acting secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. And a report released by the Government Accountability Office, according to New York Times reporter Michael D. Shear, alleges that Wolf and his deputy in DHS, Ken Cuccinelli, are serving in violation of the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998.
Shear notes that the Federal Vacancies Reform Act "specifies orders of succession when senior officials resign," adding that the GAO "said the improper appointments began after Kirstjen Nielsen was forced out of office as the department's secretary in April 2019."
According to the GAO's report, "Because the incorrect official assumed the title of acting secretary at that time, subsequent amendments to the order of succession made by that official were invalid." The GAO believes that Wolf and Cuccinelli "are serving under an invalid order of succession," according to the Federal Vacancies Reform Act.