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Rep. Torres: If DHS Leadership Committed Treason, We Must Hold Them Accountable

September 10, 2020
Press Release
Intentional Downplaying of Threats Constitutes Betrayal of American People

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Norma J. Torres (CA-35) today responded to a whistleblower complaint that Department of Homeland Security (DHS) leadership directed staff to downplay threats posed by white supremacists and Russian interference in our elections.

As detailed by the New York Times, Brian Murphy, a former head of the Homeland Security Department’s intelligence division, alleges that he was directed by acting secretary of the department Chad Wolf to stop reporting Russian interference in our elections.

Murphy also alleges that DHS’ second highest ranking official, Ken Cuccinelli, ordered him to alter intelligence assessments to downplay the threat posed to the American people by white supremacists, despite the fact that over the past decade, white supremacists and far-right militant groups have killed more innocent people from within our own borders than any terrorist group has done from abroad.


“Brian Murphy’s whistleblower complaint against Chad Wolf and Ken Cuccinelli alleges something far worse than illegal activity – it alleges treason,” Rep. Torres said. “Russian interference delegitimized our 2016 elections; white supremacists and far right militants have more American blood on their hands than any foreign terrorist group in the last decade; to minimize these threats is to leave our country and our people vulnerable to the most significant dangers we face right now. This is cold-blooded betrayal, and if Chad Wolf and Ken Cuccinelli can’t find the decency within themselves to resign, Congress should impeach them and remove them from office.

“We were a nation of laws before the Trump presidency, and we will regain that dignity as soon as we are rid of this horrendous Administration,” Torres continued. “If we truly reject this Trumpian brand of leadership that views our own people and society as expendable, then we must hold these bad actors accountable for the crimes they’ve committed against the American people.”


Rep. Torres is a prominent voice in the call to break up DHS following its long and well-documented track record of failures and abuses. She has also been pushing since June for the release of a 2006 FBI intelligence assessment entitled, “White Supremacist Infiltration of Law Enforcement,” to make clear for the American people exactly how prevalent hateful ideology is in law enforcement.

More information about Rep. Torres’ letter is available here.