After a Republican senator raised an allegation of a domestic complaint against President Biden's pick to head Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Senate Democrats entered a procedural motion Tuesday to delay a vote to advance Sheriff Ed Gonzalez's nomination.
Sen. James Lankford (R-Oklahoma) asked Democratic leaders to put off the vote so the allegation could be investigated.
Lankford pointed to an affidavit that was part of a lawsuit against staff members at Houston Community College but unrelated to Gonzalez. A college police officer claimed in the affidavit that he and another officer were called to investigate “an alleged domestic dispute” involving Melissa Gonzalez, the sheriff's wife. The affidavit doesn’t describe the nature of the incident.
Melissa Gonzalez has denied she filed or made a complaint against her husband. “To be clear, the assertions referenced in the affidavit, as they relate to me, my husband, or my marriage, are completely false,” she said in a statement released by the White House, which stood by Gonzalez’s nomination.
Biden nominated Gonzalez last year to head ICE, the immigration-enforcement branch of the Department of Homeland Security. Gonzalez was elected Harris County sheriff in 2016 and has had long career in law enforcement.