Betsy DeVos joins growing list of those resigning amid Capitol violence

Betsy DeVos joins growing list of those resigning amid Capitol violence

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON/AP) — The list of officials at the White House who are submitting their resignations following the deadly Capitol riots Wednesday continues to grow.

Talks of the 25th Amendment that could remove Trump from office are also escalating, with Congress saying it may impeach the president if the 25th Amendment is not invoked.

Secretary Betsy DeVos

Betsy DeVos joins growing list of those resigning amid Capitol violence
WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 08: U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos speaks during a White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefing at the U.S. Department of Education July 8, 2020 in Washington, DC. Vice President Pence and the task force members discussed the latest on the COVID-19 pandemic and the reopening of nation’s schools in the Fall. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has become the second Cabinet secretary to resign a day after a pro-Trump insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

In a resignation letter Thursday, DeVos blamed President Donald Trump for inflaming tensions in the violent assault on the seat of the nation’s democracy. She says, “There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me.”

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao tendered her resignation earlier Thursday. News of DeVos’ resignation was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

In a farewell letter to Congress earlier this week, DeVos urged lawmakers to reject policies supported by President-elect Joe Biden, and to protect Trump administration policies that Biden has promised to eliminate.

Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 22: Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger arrives at the Senate chamber at the U.S. Capitol on January 22, 2020 in Washington, DC. The second day of the impeachment trial against U.S. President Donald Trump is taking place today. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he has accepted the resignation of Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger a day after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol.

The Kentucky Republican said Thursday in a statement that he had earlier requested the resignation and later received it. He says Stenger’s resignation is effective immediately.

McConnell says Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms Jennifer Hemingway will now be acting sergeant-at-arms.

He says, “I thank Jennifer in advance for her service as we begin to examine the serious failures that transpired yesterday and continue and strengthen our preparations for a safe and successful inauguration on January 20th.”

Democrat Chuck Schumer had earlier vowed to fire Stenger when Schumer becomes Senate majority leader later this month if Stenger was still in the position.

Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund

The head of the U.S. Capitol Police will resign effective Jan. 16 following the breach of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.

Chief Steven Sund said Thursday that police had planned for a free speech demonstration and did not expect the violent attack. He said it was unlike anything he’d experienced in his 30 years in law enforcement.

He resigned Thursday after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on him to step down. His resignation was confirmed to The Associated Press by a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to speak publicly.

The breach halted the effort by Congress to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. Protesters stormed the building and occupied for hours. The lawmakers eventually returned and finished their work.

Trump’s national security adviser Matt Pottinger

In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, Matt Pottinger, right, Special Assistant to U.S. President Donald Trump and National Security Council (NSC) Senior Director for East Asia, speaks at a session on infrastructure connectivity at the Belt and Road Forum at the China National Convention Center (CNCC) in Beijing, Sunday, May 14, 2017. (Chen Jianli/Xinhua via AP)

According to CNN, Trump’s national security adviser Matt Pottinger resigned Wednesday in the wake of pro-Trump rioters breaching the U.S. Capitol.

House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving

House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving walks from the Senate at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she received a resignation notice from the House Sergeant-at-Arms, the person in charge of maintaining order in the House side of the U.S. Capitol complex.

Paul Irving was sworn in to the position in 2012.

According to the White House, the Sergeant-at-Arms is the chief law enforcement and protocol officer of the House of Representatives.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao

Labor Secretary Elaine Chao speaks at a press conference about the ‘America’s Heroes At Work’ project in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2008. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is resigning effective Monday, becoming the first Trump Cabinet member to resign in the aftermath of a riot on Capitol Hill.

Chao’s resignation comes shortly after the Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called on the Cabinet and Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment against President Donald Trump on Thursday.

In a statement, Chao, who is married to Senate GOP Mitch McConnell, said the Capitol riot that came after Trump’s ‘Save America’ rally in D.C. was the reason for her resignation.

“As I’m sure is the case with many of you, it has deeply troubled me in a way that I cannot set aside.”

The U.S. House has already begun drafting new articles impeachment.

Chao’s successor will be Pete Buttigieg, who ran against President-elect Joe Biden in the Democratic primaries.

While Chao is the first Cabinet member to resign since Wednesday, four other White House officials have also left their posts.

Trump’s former chief of staff Mick Mulvaney

White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney announces that the G7 will be held at Trump National Doral, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

On Thursday morning, Trump’s former chief of staff Mick Mulvaney resigned from his special envoy post to Northern Ireland.

First lady’s chief of staff Stephanie Grisham

[FILE] In this June 21, 2019 photo, Stephanie Grisham, spokeswoman for first lady Melania Trump, watches as President Donald Trump and the first lady greet attendees during the annual Congressional Picnic on the South Lawn in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Stephanie Grisham, chief of staff and press secretary for first lady Melania Trump, resigned Wednesday.

In a statement, she said that it was an “honor” to serve the country in the White House and be part of he first lady’s “mission” to help children. 

Grisham was one of Trump’s longest serving aides, having joined the campaign in 2015. She served as the White House press secretary and never held a press briefing. 

White House social secretary Rickie Niceta

White House Social Secretary Rickie Niceta, walks back into the main residence of the White House in Washington during an Halloween event welcoming children from the Washington area and children of military families to trick-or-treat at the South Lawn, Monday, Oct. 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

White House social secretary Anna Cristina “Rickie” Niceta also resigned Wednesday, according to CNN.

Niceta served as the Trump administration’s sole social secretary, assuming the post in February 2017.

Deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews

White House deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews resigned Wednesday, writing in a statement, “I was honored to serve in the Trump administration and proud of the policies we enacted. As someone who worked in the halls of Congress I was deeply disturbed by what I saw today. I’ll be stepping down from my role, effective immediately. Our nation needs a peaceful transfer of power.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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