If the men chosen by Trump to lead the Department of Homeland Security want to find some "illegals," they could just peer into a mirror.
Acting Secretary Chad Wolf and Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli, two utterly abhorrent racists appointed by Trump, have never been confirmed by the Senate because they're so awful that even the Republican-controlled Senate would never confirm them.
But their appointments weren't legal even in their acting capacity. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) says their original succession was illegal.
The Government Accountability Office — Congress' independent investigative arm — concluded that after the resignation of Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen in April 2019, an improper succession occurred, with Kevin McAleenan taking on the position. McAleenan then altered the order of succession for other officials to succeed him after his departure.
"Because the incorrect official assumed the title of Acting Secretary at that time, subsequent amendments to the order of succession made by that official were invalid and officials who assumed their positions under such amendments, including Chad Wolf and Kenneth Cuccinelli, were named by reference to an invalid order of succession,” GAO's general counsel Thomas Armstrong concluded.
This doesn't mean the two men can be prosecuted, unfortunately, but it does mean any directives or orders they issued over the past year may have been illegal or unenforceable.
Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), for example, could potentially challenge any policy implemented under them since they were appointed in 2019 and cite their illegal appointment in court.
The Trump White House isn't going to respect the GAO's conclusion and Homeland Security has already released a statement against it. This is probably going to court unless Trump quickly replaces them with new stooges who could legally implement policy.
You know, things have been bad under Trump, but they could have been even worse if Trump and his team were actually competent.