House chairmen said Thursday that they will open a probe into the rash of forced resignations at Homeland Security, saying they want to know whether people were fired because they refused to break federal laws.
The chairmen also suggested the country is less safe now after the shakeup.
The Trump administration orchestrated departures of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, one of her undersecretaries and the heads of the Secret Service and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The chairmen — Reps. Jerrold Nadler at Judiciary, Elijah E. Cummings at Oversight and Bennie G. Thompson at Homeland Security — said they suspect senior White House advisor Stephen Miller was behind the moves.
“These actions are apparently part of a pattern of Mr. Miller pressuring administration officials, including civil servants, to change immigration rules, increase enforcement and publicly release identifying information about detained immigrants,” the chairmen wrote.
The committees demanded acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan turn over any of his communications and those of the ousted officials that involve personnel discussions.
Mr. Cummings had previously tried to get Mr. Miller to testify to his committee but the White House rejected that request in a letter Wednesday, saying that the president’s top advisors who do not go through Senate confirmation have traditionally been protected from congressional demands under the separation of powers.
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