On CNN’s “Andersen Cooper 360” Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi stated that the firing of the Department of State Inspector General (IG) was an action that was “unhealthy for our democracy.”
The story has a lot of moving parts – State Department IG, Steve Linick, who President Trump has asked to leave his post, was reportedly investigating the actions of Secretary of State Pompeo in negotiating an arms deal with Saudi Arabia, as well as the allegation that Pompeo used staffers to walk a dog and take clothes to the dry cleaners. Linick was appointed by former President Barrack Obama. Trump administration supporters have countered that Linick was under investigation last year by the Department of Defense’s inspector general for mishandling sensitive material.
Interestingly, while there are many complaints about the Trump administration firing of Linick and three other IG’s in the past year, President Obama let the Department of State IG position sit vacant for four years during Hilary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. During that timeframe, there were calls for investigations into the “Uranium One” sale, Clinton’s handling of the attack on our U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Clinton’s “pay for play” use of the Clinton Foundation, and Clinton’s use of an unclassified, home server to send emails to foreign and U.S. officials and friends – many of which were found to contain classified information. Those activities occurred while there was no appointee to the State Department IG post.
Pompeo stated on Tuesday 19 May that he had no idea he was under investigation by IG Linick.
“I’m not briefed on it. I usually see these investigations in final draft form 24 hours, 48 hours before the IG is prepared to release them,” he told the Washington Post on Monday.
“So it’s simply not possible for this to be an act of retaliation. End of story.”