[Ed. – Politico huffs and puffs to make this sound vaguely scandalous. It may be about a policy struggle inside the White House, as border security has been a very hard slog. Staffing DHS to execute Trump’s actual policy has gone off the rails more than once; the internal bureaucratic resistance is tenacious. It also may not be about policy opponents looking for reasons to derail Cuccinelli and Morgan. The media would say it was even if it weren’t.]
President Donald Trump has been notified by his staff that he can’t select two popular figures — Ken Cuccinelli and Mark Morgan — to serve as an acting secretary of homeland security because a federal law governing agency succession makes them ineligible. …
A statute that governs DHS succession places the deputy secretary and under secretary for management in line for the acting secretary role, although both of those positions are currently filled by acting officials.
A separate federal law that outlines procedures for filling vacancies requires that acting officials be either the “first assistant” to the position, a Senate-confirmed official detailed to the role or a senior employee at the agency for 90 days during a 365-day period before the vacancy occurred.