ICE’s chief of staff has written a “draft declaration” for agency employees to use if they are called to give testimony in court cases dealing with the Biden administration’s deportation policies, The Washington Times has learned.
In other words, instead of telling them to be truthful, the ‘transparent’ administration gave them talking points. But, don’t worry, it’s just a suggestion!
The move by Timothy Perry, who is DHS’s voice as chief of staff, shocked some former senior leaders at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Homeland Security Department with the two-page memo.
TELL THEM DEPORTATIONS WOULD ADD TO THE WORKLOAD
In it, Mr. Perry lays out his view of why courts should NOT INTERVENE in ICE’s attempt to stop deportations. It would add to the workload, it says in the memo. [Maybe they should just follow the law and stop people from coming in as DJT did?]
“This is the draft declaration that I put together based on our conversation and emails from other staff over the weekend,” Mr. Perry wrote to subordinates. “It is important that any declaration reflect your views. I drafted this just to get us started. If you’re ok with this [or another version that you revise], the COSs (Chief of Staffs) should raise it up and get it to OPLA.” (OPLA stands for the Office of the Principal Legal Adviser, which is ICE’s chief legal branch.)
Let’s see who would have the guts to offer another version.
The Washington Times spoke with a half dozen former chiefs of staff or directors at Homeland Security agencies. Each said the email was troubling.
“We were sued all the time, but by no means did we take this top-down approach of ‘Here’s what we’re going to say,’” said Lora Ries, who was chief of staff at ICE and now is at The Heritage Foundation.
Tom Homan, who served as acting ICE director for the first couple of years of the Trump administration, said the document crossed lines.
“It’s abnormal. It’s unprofessional,” he said.
Ken Cuccinelli, a former acting agency chief and deputy secretary at Homeland Security, and also a former attorney general of Virginia, said the declaration “smacks of the politicals telling everybody else what to say.”
If a lawyer weighed in on what to expect, that would be one thing, but from a politico, it’s “unusual and suspicious.”
“Any objective judge would be uncomfortable with that,” Mr. Cuccinelli said. “You’re supposed to be asking people what they understand the facts to be.”
Tae Johnson, the career ICE official who is acting director, defended Mr. Perry’s actions. He tried to claim they were routine.
“Declarations are routine court filings that convey the expertise of a party to litigation. They are truthful statements, based upon personal knowledge, to include information gained in the performance of the representative’s official duties,” Mr. Johnson said in a statement. “As ICE Chief of Staff, Mr. Perry was properly involved in explaining the importance of the case and ensuring a thorough and accurate statement for the court.”
That’s not what the statement suggests. It suggests they say what he wants them to say.
Mr. Homan said Mr. Perry’s involvement is particularly troubling because ICE is without a Senate-confirmed director, so Mr. Perry is serving as the conduit for the White House’s wishes.
“Tim Perry is running ICE,” Mr. Homan said. “I call him the shadow director.”
Read more at The Washington Times.