Three Democratic chairmen opened an investigation into the “unprecedented firings” at the Department of Homeland Security, demanding in a letter communications related to the departures or potential departures of several department officials.
House committee chairmen Elijah Cummings, Jerrold Nadler and Bennie Thompson wrote a letter to acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan in which they are asking to be provided with information on the departure of former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, former Secret Service Director Randolph Alles and other officials.
“We are deeply concerned that the firing and forced resignation of these officials puts the security of the American people at risk,” the lawmakers wrote. “We are also concerned that the President may have removed DHS officials because they refused his demands to violate federal immigration law and judicial orders.”
The three chairmen also voiced in their letter concerns that following the removal of top department officials, senior advisor Stephen Miller has been given control of ‘all immigration and border affairs’, citing a recent Washington Post report.
The move by the Democrats comes only a day after the White House denied a request to make Miller available to testify before Congress. Their letter mentions reports that Miller along with other senior officials encouraged the dismissal of Nielsen, which had been speculated for months.
The three lawmakers also pointed to Alles’ departure and the resignations of Undersecretary for Management Claire Grady and acting Director of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Ronald Vitiello. Vitello’s nomination was withdrawn by the President, who said he wanted to move in a “tougher direction.”
Miller is widely believed to have been behind the withdrawal of Vitello’s nomination.
Cummings, Nadler and Thompson have also requested documents pertaining to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director L. Francis Cissna and general counsel John Mitnick, who some believe may also be fired soon.
The deadline for the documents to be provided is May 9.
This is the latest in a series of investigations opened by House Democrats, which President Trump has vowed to stonewall.