Washington (QNN)- The Trump administration fired on Friday the State Department’s inspector general who is reported to have been investigating the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, for a potential abuse of office.
Trump gave no real explanation for the ouster of Steve Linick, who had been appointed during the Obama administration, only saying that he no longer had his “fullest confidence” and he would be removed in 30 days.
According to a Democratic congressional aide, just before his abrupt dismissal Linick had opened an investigation into allegations that Pompeo had been using a political appointee at the state department to run personal errands for him and his wife, Susan.
“This firing is the outrageous act of a president trying to protect one of his most loyal supporters, the secretary of state, from accountability,” Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., said in a statement. “I have learned that the Office of the Inspector General had opened an investigation into Secretary Pompeo. Mr. Linick’s firing amid such a probe strongly suggests that this is an unlawful act of retaliation.”
Linick had been also critical of the State Department’s leadership during the Trump presidency for retribution toward staff members.
In 2019, a State Department whistleblower allegedly claimed Pompeo used his security detail for personal chores, like picking up his family’s dog. It allegedly led agents to complain that they were serving as “UberEats with guns.”
Linick’s dismissal is the latest in a series of dismissals of independent government watchdogs.
Last month, Trump dismissed Michael Atkinson, the inspector general of the intelligence community.
Atkinson first alerted Congress to a whistleblower complaint that led to Mr Trump’s impeachment trial.