Democrats Launch Probe Into Trump's Firing Of State Department Inspector General

Democrats Launch Probe Into Trump's Firing Of State Department Inspector General

Democrats Launch Probe Into Trump's Firing Of State Department Inspector General

In an interview on CNN's "State of the Union, ' Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson said he felt 'not all inspector generals are created equal" and noted they 'serve at the pleasure of the president'.

United States law allows a president to remove inspector generals, who act as watchdogs to expose waste or improper activities within government agencies.

Beyond being demonstrative of using his office in an inappropriate manner - utilizing taxpayer funds for personal business - Pompeo's actions in recommending Linick's firing to Trump may also be illegal for other reasons.

House speaker Nancy Pelosi warned Sunday that Donald Trump might have broken the law by firing the inspector general of the state department.

However, the move immediately angered the Democrats, with the chairman of the House foreign affairs committee, Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., Suggesting that Trump fired Linick for retaliation.

His office had issued several reports critical of the department's handling of personnel matters, including accusing some of President Donald Trump's appointees of retaliating against career officials. "I have always been a strong advocate for the Inspectors General".

While stopping far short of creating a formal select committee to investigate the latest ouster at OIG, the Engel-Menendez letter casts itself as performing "a constitutionally-mandated obligation to conduct oversight" and to "protect the integrity" of national institutions such as the country's inspectors general system.

Brian Bulatao, the State Department's undersecretary for management, told the Post that there was concern within agency leadership about a "pattern" of media leaks of draft versions of Linick's investigations, though he said there's no evidence that Bulatao was personally responsible. Mr Linick was the third official responsible for monitoring government misconduct to be dismissed in recent weeks.

Mr Linick, a long-time prosecutor, was appointed in 2013 by Mr Trump's predecessor Barack Obama to oversee the US$70 billion (S$100 billion) juggernaut of USA diplomacy.

"The President can't fire watchdogs without giving a proper reason and justification to Congress - all of Congress".

He has removed or demoted inspectors-general for the Pentagon, the intelligence community and the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as a senior health official who questioned Mr Trump's promotion of unproven drug therapies for Covid-19.

Linick was sacked a month after Trump axed intelligence community inspector general Mickael Atkinson, who informed the Congress about a whistleblower complaint that eventually led to Trump's impeachment probe in 2019, and Pentagon's acting inspector general Glenn Fine whose role was to oversee the government's coronavirus financial relief response.

Pompeo, 56, became the Trump administration's second secretary of state in April 2018 after serving as director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Mr Engel and Mr Menendez have requested that the White House and State Department hand over all records related to his dismissal by next Friday. Mr. Atkinson had fast-tracked a whistleblower complaint a year ago that kick-started a process leading to Mr. Trump's impeachment. Later Trump also removed Glenn Fine as acting inspector general at the Defense Department.

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