This evening Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf announced that he was abruptly resigning. Within the context of Donald Trump being impeached, the specter of the 25th Amendment, and Trump’s increasingly psychotic behavior, the resignation has raised a number of alarms.
But in reality, Chad Wolf has been serving as Acting Homeland Security Secretary for far longer than the statute allows, and based on court rulings, he was set to lose his “Acting” status a few days before the end of Trump’s term. In other words, the courts pretty much fired him for being an illegal appointment, and even Wolf is acknowledging that this is the reason.
This would all sound like a convenient excuse to cover up something else that’s going on, but the reality is that the court battle over Wolf’s Acting status has been playing out in court for awhile, and unless the courts sided with him, he was never going to make it all the way to the end of Trump’s term.
So no, this isn’t a pretext for “martial law” or whatever hyperbolic theories are being kicked around the internet. Donald Trump, for all of his unhingedness, isn’t within a million miles of having the muscle to successfully pull off something like martial law. He just isn’t. If he could pull something like that off, he’d have already done it, instead of resorting to relying on inept goons to storm the Capitol. Over these final nine days, it’s more important than ever for us to remain reality based. The reality is that Chad Wolf was already going to be a goner this week, for unrelated reasons, before the Capitol attack happened.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report