The fallout has continued in Washington in the aftermath of the violent storming of the U.S. Capitol during a joint session of Congress by a massive crowd of President Donald Trump’s supporters who were protesting the certification of the Electoral College results.
In response to what many have claimed was the president’s incitement of the riotous crowd, Trump Education Secretary Betsy DeVos tendered her resignation on Thursday, The Hill reported.
The announcement of DeVos’ resignation, set to take effect Friday, came in the wake of a similar announcement from Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, the wife of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who reportedly stepped down for much the same reasons.
DeVos is done
According to The Hill, DeVos submitted her resignation letter to President Trump on Thursday. In it, she specifically cited his rhetoric as a catalyst for what had occurred at the Capitol building on Wednesday, an incident that she described as an “inflection point” in her decision-making process.
“We should be highlighting and celebrating your Administration’s many accomplishments on behalf of the American people,” DeVos wrote, as The Hill reported. “Instead, we are left to clean up the mess caused by violent protestors overrunning the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to undermine the people’s business.”
She went on: “That behavior was unconscionable for our country. There is no mistaking the impact your rhetoric had on the situation, and it is the inflection point for me.”
The now-former Education secretary also pointed to her position as a role model for “impressionable children,” writing:
I believe we each have a moral obligation to exercise good judgment and model the behavior we hope they would emulate. They must know from us that America is greater than what transpired yesterday.
To that end, today I resign from my position effective Friday, January 8, in support of the oath I took to our Constitution, our people, and our freedoms. Holding this position has been the honor of a lifetime, and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to serve America and her students.
“Honor of a lifetime”
The letter from DeVos came just hours after Chao called her role in the administration quits, a move that will take effect Monday, Jan. 11, according to Politico.
The outlet reported that Chao had referred to the Capitol Hill riot as a “traumatic and entirely avoidable event” and said what occurred “deeply troubled me in a way I simply cannot set aside.”
In a tweet, she also said that serving in Trump’s Cabinet had been an “honor of a lifetime” and vowed to ensure a smooth transition to the incoming president’s pick for Transportation secretary, former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
According to Politico, Department of Transportation General Counsel Stephen Bradbury will likely be tasked with heading the department upon Chao’s departure.
It remains unclear at this point who will succeed DeVos in the interim.