With less than two weeks left in Donald Trump’s presidency, a number of administration officials have resigned in apparent protest of his incitement of the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday, and the White House is reportedly bracing for more departures.
Here is a running list of Trump administration officials who have tendered their resignations so far:
Wolf, the acting secretary of homeland security, announced on Monday that he is stepping down from his post. His resignation comes days after he had called on the president asked to “strongly condemn the violence” that took place at the U.S. Capitol.
In a letter to staff, Wolf said that he had intended to serve in his role until the end of the Trump administration but that his decision to depart was “warranted by recent events,” including “ongoing meritless court rulings” regarding the scope of his authority as acting secretary.
In November, a federal judge in New York ruled that he lacked the authority to limit work permits of hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children, known as Dreamers.
Chao, the transportation secretary, announced her resignation on Thursday afternoon. She is the first Cabinet secretary to resign as a result of the Capitol riot.
In a letter to her colleagues, Chao, who is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, cited Wednesday’s events as a reason for her departure.
“Yesterday, our country experienced a traumatic and entirely avoidable event as supporters of the President stormed the Capitol building following a rally he addressed,” Chao wrote. “As I’m sure is the case with many of you, it has deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside.”
Chao’s resignation is effective Jan. 11.
DeVos, the secretary of education, announced her resignation Thursday night, becoming the second member of Trump’s Cabinet to resign in the wake of the violence at the Capitol.
In her resignation letter to Trump, DeVos said there is “no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me.”
“Impressionable children” were watching the events at the Capitol, she added, and “we each have a moral obligation to exercise good judgement and model the behavior we hope they would emulate.”
Mulvaney, Trump’s former acting chief of staff, told CNBC Thursday that he had resigned from his current post as special U.S. envoy to Northern Ireland. He said he had called Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday night to inform him of his decision.
“I can’t do it. I can’t stay,” Mulvaney said, adding that he had talked with other Trump officials who were also eyeing the exits.
“We didn’t sign up for what you saw,” he continued. “We signed up for making America great again; we signed up for lower taxes and less regulation. The president has a long list of successes that we can be proud of. But all of that went away yesterday.”
Mulvaney added that Trump, in his view, was “not the same as he was eight months ago.”
He said many officials are “choosing to stay because they’re worried the president might put someone worse” in their place in the 13 days he has left in office.
Grisham, a former White House press secretary, resigned from her current job as chief of staff to first lady Melania Trump.
In a tweet announcing her departure, Grisham did not say whether her resignation was triggered by Trump’s halting response to the violence. But notably, she did not mention the president.
“It has been an honor to serve the country in the @WhiteHouse,” Grisham wrote. “I am very proud to have been a part of @FLOTUS @MELANIATRUMP mission to help children everywhere, & proud of the many accomplishments of this Administration.”
Matthews, the White House deputy press secretary, said in a statement Wednesday that she was “honored to serve in the Trump administration and proud of the policies we enacted.”
But “as someone who worked in the halls of Congress,” she explained, “I was deeply disturbed by what I saw.”
“I’ll be stepping down, effective immediately,” Matthews said, adding: “Our nation needs a peaceful transfer of power.”
Anna Cristina 'Rickie' Niceta
Niceta served as the White House social secretary for virtually all of Trump’s term. According to CNN, which first reported her departure, her duties included overseeing “all events at the White House, from small meetings in the West Wing to the annual Easter Egg Roll, Halloween, state visits and congressional picnics and galas.”
Pottinger, deputy to national security adviser Robert O’Brien and who had served in the administration from its first days, resigned Wednesday, Reuters reported.
He was a top China adviser and a leading figure in the development of Trump’s policy toward Beijing.
“Matt Pottinger has served the nation and the Administration with distinction for the past four years,” O’Brien wrote in a tweet confirming his departure. “His work [led] to a great awakening in our country and around the world to the danger posed by the Chinese Communist Party.”
Goodspeed, chairman of Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers, told a reporter for the New York Times on Thursday that “the events at the U.S. Capitol yesterday led me to conclude my position was untenable.”
Dreiband, the assistant attorney general and head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, announced his resignation in a statement Thursday.
Head of DOJ’s civil rights division stepping down pic.twitter.com/sU9ttDYjHP
— Sarah N. Lynch (@SarahNLynch) January 7, 2021
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