Nancy Pelosi: Steve Linick firing 'unsavory'

Trump Fires State Department Inspector General Steve Linick

State Department Inspector General Steve Linick departs the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Oct. 2 2019

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".

Linick had also issued several reports that criticized actions taken during the Trump administration, including a hiring freeze under Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and a decision by Tillerson adviser Brian Hook, now the us envoy for Iran, to dismiss a staffer who was perceived by some officials as opposing Trump's agenda.

Linick investigated several issues at the State Department which "agitated" senior administration officials, though it is unclear what specifically triggered his Friday firing, The Washington Post reported.

Experts say the pattern threatens the independent oversight function that inspectors general provide, particularly if watchdogs feel pressure to do the president's political bidding or risk being fired for refusing.

The announcement came after Mr Trump told House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi late on Friday that he planned to dismiss State Department Inspector General Steve Linick.

The probe was launched after Trump's removed Linick on Friday.

Linick will be replaced by Stephen Akard, a former career foreign service officer with close ties to Vice President Pence, an official with the Trump administration told The Associated Press.

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News of the nature of Linick's examination follows the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Eliot Engel, had actually stated Linick was investigating Pompeo, though the New York Democrat did not give any type of more information concerning the range of this examination. "We don't have the full picture yet, but it's troubling that Secretary Pompeo wanted Mr Linick pushed out before this work could be completed", Engel added.

Engel said he'd learned that Linick had opened an investigation into Pompeo.

The firings of multiple inspectors-general is unprecedented; doing so without good cause chills the independence essential to their objective.

Linick, a longtime prosecutor, was appointed in 2013 by Trump's predecessor Barack Obama to oversee the $70 billion juggernaut of US diplomacy.

They accused Mr Trump of retaliating against public servants who want to hold his administration to account. Navarro's comments can potentially escalate the tensions between the Democrats who have raised concerns that Trump was supposedly firing watchdogs whom he thinks may pose as a threat to his presidency. "That is no longer the case with regard to this inspector general", Mr Trump said in the letter.

"Reports indicate that Secretary Pompeo personally made the recommendation to fire Mr. Linick, and it is our understanding that he did so because the Inspector General had opened an investigation into wrongdoing by Secretary Pompeo himself", the Saturday letter accuses.

As Common Dreams reported, the president in April removed Intelligence Community inspector general Michael Atkinson from his post after Atkinson was revealed to have been behind delivering the whistleblower complaint on Ukraine to Congress that led to Trump's impeachment in December 2019. Mr. Atkinson had fast-tracked a whistleblower complaint previous year that kick-started a process leading to Mr. Trump's impeachment.

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