In its report, the GAO referred the legality of actions taken by Wolf and Cuccinelli, as well as the question over who should be serving in the top two roles, to the DHS inspector general.
However, both Wolf and Cuccinelli remain in their positions. Cuccinelli currently fills two leadership roles at DHS — the senior official performing the duties of the deputy secretary and the director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
This is the first communication from the DHS inspector general’s office on the topic that the GAO has seen, according to GAO spokesperson Chuck Young. “We are confident in our thorough and well documented initial legal determinations. A federal judge in Maryland cited our decision favorably yesterday in a related matter,” Young said in a statement.
Homeland Security spokesperson Alexei Woltornist said in a statement Tuesday that “GAO’s report was erroneous, non-binding, and issued under highly questionable authority under federal law,” again urging the GAO to reconsider its report.
The inspector general’s office is investigating several recent complaints about the department, including allegations that DHS law enforcement personnel improperly detained and transported protestors, whether DHS’ Office of Intelligence and Analysis improperly gathered intelligence on US journalists, as well as an overall review of DHS’ deployment of law enforcement officers to Portland, Oregon.
CNN’s Priscilla Alvarez contributed to this story.