Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Inspectors general, explained by a former inspector general

Vox – A former State Department watchdog on what they do — and why they matter. Late Friday night [May 16, 2020], President Donald Trump fired State Department Inspector General Steve Linick. It was the fourth abrupt dismissal of an inspector general in about as many weeks, and the latest case in which Trump claimed he’d lost confidence in the IG when it very much seemed like something else was going on. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed recommending that Trump fire Linick. That’s an important detail, because it seems Linick — who, as inspector general, was in charge of oversight at the State Department — might have been zeroing in on Pompeo himself, including the secretary’s alleged use of a political appointee to run his personal errands. Linick was also reportedly probing the administration’s $8 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, which sidestepped Congress. Congressional Democrats are now investigating Linick’s firing. But Linick is not the first IG to go. In April, Trump fired Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community’s inspector general, who had brought forward a credible whistleblower report about the president’s inappropriate phone call with the Ukrainian president that ultimately led to Trump’s impeachment. Trump had “lost confidence” in Atkinson, too. Earlier this month, Trump also moved to replace the acting inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services, who had written a report highlighting shortages of personal protective equipment and coronavirus tests in US hospitals, which Trump called “wrong.” And Trump replaced the acting Defense Department inspector general, who’d been tasked with overseeing the $2 trillion in funds from the coronavirus stimulus package, making him ineligible to oversee pandemic spending. Trump’s purge of inspectors general is unprecedented. But his ire for these internal watchdogs is not…”

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.