- According to Democratic lawmakers, Linick was fired for trying to protect Americans working for the Trump administration while safeguarding the Constitution.
- Linick was apparently investigating Mike Pompeo’s conduct.
- Democrats have requested the White House to provide documents related to his dismissal.
Democrats want answers on Inspector General Steve Linick’s sacking. This is following allegations that he had opened an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s conduct before the abrupt dismissal. Pompeo had reportedly used his position in office to have staff run personal errands for him, prompting the investigation.
According to Democratic lawmakers, Linick was fired for trying to protect Americans working for the Trump administration while safeguarding the Constitution. President Trump had sent a 30-day notice to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as required by law, to convey that he would be giving Linick the pink slip.
“This is to advise that I am exercising my power as President to remove from office the Inspector General of the Department of State, effective 30 days from today,” he said.
According to a statement issued by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY), the White House is politicizing matters and firing public officers without justifiable cause. “We unalterably oppose the politically-motivated firing of inspectors general and the President’s gutting of these critical positions,” they said in a statement.
Stephen Akard, the director of the Office of Foreign Missions, is set to take over the reins. Linick has, in the past, been criticized by Democratic members, especially during his probe into Hillary Clinton’s email server scandal. He had censured her for the careless handling of state communications in the 2016 investigation report.
Trump has fired a collective of public officers in recent months in what seems to be a retaliatory move against individuals he deems disloyal to him. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has described the developments as a “purge.” Just last month, the president dismissed Glenn Fine. His role was to provide financial oversight to the government’s coronavirus relief fund.
Michael Atkinson, who was the nation’s second Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, was also let go during the same month. He was notably involved in the Trump impeachment investigation.
Democrats Call for an Investigation
Rep. Engel has asked for an investigation into Linick’s dismissal. According to the House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman, the president most likely fired the watchdog to protect Secretary Pompeo. Sen. Menendez and Rep. Engel have asked the White House to hand over documents related to the firing.
Linick has previously served under President George W. Bush’s administration as the Inspector General for the Federal Housing Finance Agency. He has held the State Department Inspector General role since 2013, after being appointed to the position by President Barack Obama.
The top brass under Trump has had an extremely high turnover rate. It currently stands at 86 percent. The turnover during his first year as president surpassed that of the past five presidents. For perspective, it was over three times higher when compared to President Obama’s.