“When Ken Cuccinelli was Virginia Attorney General a decade ago, he pursued an extraordinary legal campaign against one of the nation’s top climate scientists, in essence accusing him of fraud for his research tracking the rise in global temperatures. At the same time, Cuccinelli, a Tea Party Republican, was at the forefront of a court challenge to the Obama administration’s finding that greenhouse gases endangered human health and the environment.
Cuccinelli lost both of those battles, but he won himself a place in the center of President Donald Trump’s culture wars.
From his post as the acting No. 2 official at the Department of Homeland Security, he served as a key lieutenant in the Trump administration’s deployment of camouflage-clad federal agents to put down protests in Portland, Oregon, last month, and the standing threat to send them elsewhere.
Tim Whitehouse, executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), a public interest watchdog group, has sued the administration over appointees who, like Cuccinelli, have not been Senate-confirmed. “These small groups of political appointees in government now, who were improperly appointed, are working to create what I would honestly call a police state— whose law enforcement powers are questionable and who are pursuing those powers for a purely political agenda.””