The Trump regime purge of various executive agency inspectors general continued over the weekend with the announcement that Trump was giving State Department IG Steve Linick his 30-day notice, but as Greg Sargent reports, Linick's ouster appears to be especially corrupt.
House Democrats have discovered that the fired IG had mostly completed an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s widely criticized decision to skirt Congress with an emergency declaration to approve billions of dollars in arms sales to Saudi Arabia last year, aides on the Foreign Affairs Committee tell me.
“I have learned that there may be another reason for Mr. Linick’s firing,” Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.), the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement sent to me. “His office was investigating — at my request — Trump’s phony declaration of an emergency so he could send weapons to Saudi Arabia.”
Committee Democrats have also learned that the State Department was recently briefed on the IG’s conclusions in that investigation, aides say. They do not know what role this investigation — and its conclusions — played in Linick’s removal, if any.
But the committee is now trying to establish what those conclusions were and what links they might have to the firing, the aides confirm.
“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 said in the statement to me.
The White House has confirmed Linick’s firing came at Pompeo’s request. Trump claimed he no longer has “confidence” in Linick, a thin justification that highlights Trump’s purging of officials exercising oversight on his administration.
Many news organizations have reported that the fired IG had been examining charges that Pompeo had been directing a staffer to run errands for him. Some reported that Pompeo has undertaken abuses of taxpayer funds, including frequent visits to his home state of Kansas. It’s unclear whether these are linked to Linick’s firing.
But the fact that Linick has also mostly completed an investigation into the decision to fast-track arms to the Saudis adds another layer to this whole story.
Pompeo is corrupt as hell, so he had Trump fire the person investigating him. It really doesn't get much more blatant than "firing the cop looking into your illegal stuff" but again, this doesn't even make the Top Ten Trump Regime Scandals List™ overall.
Old enough to remember the Iran-Contra hearings over less than this.
Still, Pompeo should definitely be made to resign. Of course, this entire regime should, starting with Trump.
That won't happen.