Kirstjen Nielsen offered a resignation letter on Sunday saying she would be stepping down from her post as head of the Department of Homeland Security.
But the writing style in the letter kicked off an entirely new controversy, as some experts said her writing style appeared to be identical to a scathing New York Times op-ed in which an anonymous White House member slammed Donald Trump and detailed measure that some had taken to stop Trump from acting on his most dangerous impulses.
Josh Campbell, a CNN contributor and former FBI special agent, wrote on Twitter that his expert opinion pointed to Nielsen as the anonymous author.
“As a trained investigator, I’m just going to go on record now saying that anonymous NYT op-ed was LOADED with commas and em dashes. And so is this resignation letter,” he wrote.
Others joined Campbell in noting the similarities between the writing style in Nielsen’s resignation letter and the op-ed.
The September 5 op-ed had slammed Trump as unfit to hold office and noted that there was a group of dedicated senior staffers who “vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided impulses until he is out of office.”
The anonymous New York Times op-ed sparked widespread speculation about which White House insider could have written the scathing piece, and prompted a number of top cabinet members to publicly declare that they did not write it. Some even suggested that Trump should launch a formal investigation to find who had written it, though the person was never identified and never came forward.
As The Associated Press reported, Trump had been incensed about the op-ed and vowed to find the person who had written it, even publicly declaring that the person had committed “treason” in taking measures to check the president’s power.
The op-ed also kicked off a new level of paranoia from Trump, the report noted.
“The president, already besieged by leaks, has closed ranks around the Oval Office, growing far more suspicious of staff and trusting fewer West Wing personnel,” the report stated.
“That’s according to four White House officials and Republicans close to the White House who were not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations.”
Trump administration officials, are publicly denying writing the anonymous New York Times op-ed by a senior admin. official – including Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, Kirstjen Nielsen, Dan Coates: https://t.co/jumF0yS1mw
— TheBeat w/Ari Melber (@TheBeatWithAri) September 6, 2018
Kirstjen Nielsen was one of the top cabinet members who last year denied writing the New York Times op-ed, saying through a spokesperson that she was focused on protecting the homeland, not writing “anonymous and false opinion pieces.”