Biden’s pick for ICE leadership backs down after allegations of domestic abuse

President Joe Biden’s nominee for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) director, Ed Gonzalez, announced Monday he had withdrawn from consideration for the role Sunday.

“On Sunday, I informed President Biden’s administration that I am respectfully withdrawing from consideration for the post of Director of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement,” the Harris County, Texas, Sheriff said on Twitter. “I arrived at this decision after prayerfully considering what’s best for our nation, my family, and the people of Harris County.”

He added his gratitude to Biden for nominating him and wished the administration well “as it strives to overcome the paralyzing political gridlock that threatens far more than our nation’s border.”

Biden first nominated Gonzalez in April 2021 and submitted his name to the Senate again in January. However, his nomination came to a halt in March after Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) revealed an affidavit by a Houston police officer from July 2021 alleging Gonzalez had become “physical or violent” with his wife due to an adulterous affair against Gonzalez, according to Roll Call.

Lankford asked for the vote to be delayed until the claims could be investigated, saying in a letter to Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, that “If these allegations of physical and violent domestic abuse are true, they are disqualifying for a law enforcement officer at any level and raise significant questions about the nominee.”

He added, “It would be irresponsible for the Senate to vote on the confirmation of Sheriff Gonzalez to be Director of ICE until we determine whether the allegations outlined in the attached affidavit are true. The cloture motion should be immediately withdrawn until this matter is resolved.”

Gonzalez has repeatedly denied the allegations, telling CW39 in March: “It’s false, it’s all politics.”

Gonzalez’s wife, Melissa, has also denied the allegations. “Any suggestion that I filed or made a complaint against my husband is false and defamatory,” she said. “To be clear, the assertions referenced in the affidavit, as they relate to me, my husband or my marriage, are completely false.”



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