When the timing and location of planned ICE raids were leaked to the Washington Post three weeks ago, many fingers pointed at acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan. He hasn’t supported ICE raids since taking on the role and didn’t seem concerned that the raids had to be postponed as a result. Five current and former officials anonymously named McAleenan as the likely leaker.
A week later, he denied the accusations to Fox News host Laura Ingraham. But in a subsequent interview with ABC News host Martha Raddatz, he dodged the question.
Now, a non-criminal investigation is underway to determine who leaked the information, thus putting law enforcement lives in danger.
Following the publishing of sensitive leaked law enforcement information on June 21, then-acting ICE Director Mark Morgan’s team followed department protocol and reported the incident to the ICE Joint Intake Center so they could investigate. JIC is an agency office that handles internal investigations of personnel misconduct, sexual abuse, staff neglect, or violations of responsibilities that may have contributed to such incidents.
“There is an ongoing investigation. An internal investigation has been launched,” one official said in a phone call Friday.
When McAleenan was first put into the position following the resignation of Kirstjen Nielsen, I was extremely hopeful about McAleenan. His history was a storybook tale of patriotism and he seemed to be a firm believer in border security while acting in various roles within the department he helped create. But upon taking the top spot, it became clear that he drew certain lines that didn’t align with the White House or the safety of American citizens. He opposes raids and deportations of parents despite the fact that children are used by illegal immigrants as a ticket to enter and remain in the United States interior.
Now, the investigation is underway and even more fingers are pointing at McAleenan. At this point everything we know publicly is circumstantial, but before anyone cries for due process or claims he’s innocent until proven guilty, it’s important to remember this is not a criminal investigation. He’s not going to be arrested or charged. But the White House needs to know whether or not the person charged with keeping our borders secure and American citizens safe has his heart in the right place. This investigation will reveal whether or not McAleenan should keep his job. In such events, due process is not in play. He works at the pleasure of the President of the United States, and if the investigation determines he’s undermining the President’s policies and directives, he’s not in the right role.
If the investigation determines McAleenan is trying to undermine his own department’s ability to carry out their duty of defending the American people, the he should be removed from office and replaced by someone who will do their job.
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