Energy Secretary, Acting Defense Secretary to Stay Until Jan. 20
Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller and Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette both issued statements on Jan. 7 saying that they intend to remain in office until Jan. 20, the day of the presidential inauguration.
Miller and Brouillette in separate remarks condemned the violence that took place Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol and interrupted a joint session of Congress to count electoral votes. Violence broke out at the building when a group of protesters breached the building at around 2:15 p.m. and interrupted lawmakers who were at the time debating whether to reject Electoral College votes for Arizona.
“Yesterday’s violence at the Capitol was reprehensible and contrary to the tenets of the United States Constitution,” Miller said. “I strongly condemn these acts of violence against our democracy.”
The acting defense secretary said that he will, until Jan. 20, continue to perform his duties in accordance with his oath of office.
“[I] will execute the time-honored peaceful transition of power to President-elect Biden on January 20,” Miller added.
An email from Brouillette to his staff obtained by Politico meanwhile condemned the Jan. 6 violence, and states that he doesn’t intend to resign.
“I was pleased President Trump stated that he would support an orderly, peaceful transition of power to President-elect Biden,” he wrote. “At the Department of Energy, my leadership team and I have been and will remain committed to proving the support and resources needed to ensure a smooth transition within the Department.”
“To that duty, I will remain fully focused over the next 13 days in my capacity as Secretary,” Brouillette said.
The president’s end of term has been roiled by a string of resignations.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos submitted her resignation on Jan. 7, blaming Trump for contributing to the civil unrest that unfolded during demonstrations he supported over concerns about election integrity.
“There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation,” DeVos wrote in a letter to the president.
Thousands of protesters gathered around the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon after his speech outside the White House, during which he asked protesters to “peaceful and patriotically make your voices heard” at the Capitol and urged Vice President Mike Pence to send contested Electoral College Votes back to state legislatures.
DeVos became the second Cabinet secretary to resign following the acts of violence and lawlessness that transpired as some protesters decided to unlawfully enter the capitol building as the majority of Trump supporters rallied outside.
She had been one of the president’s longest-serving Cabinet secretaries.
DeVos said her resignation is effective Friday, Jan. 8, calling Wednesday’s civil unrest “the inflection point” for her.
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao also submitted her resignation Thursday morning after taking the “time to absorb” what happened on Jan. 6 and the president’s response to it.
Trump has condemned the acts of violence and lawlessness.