Trump fires State Department inspector general




Key House Democrat calls it ‘act of retaliation’ for investigation into Pompeo
President Trump on Friday announced he is firing the State Department’s inspector general — the latest of several people tasked with conducting oversight on various government agencies to be pushed out by Mr. Trump in recent weeks.
In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Mr. Trump said he no longer had the “fullest confidence” in Inspector General Steve Linick, who has been in the position since 2013.
Amb. Stephen J. Akard, who was previously confirmed by the U.S. Senate as head of the State Department’s Office of Foreign Missions, is set to take Mr. Linick’s place.
The move comes after Mr. Trump in early April announced the firing of Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the U.S. intelligence community. Mr. Atkinson had fast-tracked a whistleblower complaint last year that kick-started a process leading to Mr. Trump’s impeachment.
Mr. Trump last month also removed former acting Defense Department Inspector General Glenn Fine from his post. Mr. Fine had also been tapped to lead a committee charged with overseeing trillions of dollars in federal coronavirus rescue spending.
The president this month also announced a new nominee to be the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services, after Principal Deputy Inspector General Christi A. Grimm released a report that found hospitals were reporting significant shortages of key equipment amid the coronavirus pandemic.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel said Mr. Linick’s office had opened an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the latest firing was a move to protect Mr. Pompeo.
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