In the United States, an investigation was launched into a lodge by US President Donald Trump of a State Department official who investigated the activities of Trump’s right hand, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The dismissal of Inspector General Steve Linick is called “politically motivated,” writes the BBC.
The former prosecutor was appointed by former US President Barack Obama to oversee spending and identify mismanagement in the Department of State. Linick began an investigation into allegations that Mike Pompeo misused staff to carry out personal assignments.
On Friday, May 15, Trump sent a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, in which he announced his intention to fire Steve Linick.
In accordance with federal law, the Trump administration must inform Congress 30 days in advance of its plans to fire the inspector general. Some reports show the BBC reports that they plan to appoint Trump’s political ally instead.
On Saturday, May 16, senior Democrats on the external affairs committees of the House and the Senate questioned the timing of Linik’s dismissal and announced an immediate investigation.
“We certainly oppose the politically motivated purge of the inspector general and the president’s withdrawal from these critical positions,” said Congressman Eliot Engel and Senator Bob Menendez in a statement.
They said that Mr. Linick “opened an investigation into the illegal actions of the Secretary of Pompeo,” adding that his dismissal was “clearly designed to protect Secretary of Pompeo from personal responsibility.”
Engel and Menendez asked the White House and the State Department to transfer all records related to his dismissal until next Friday.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, the White House announced that Pompeo himself had proposed the decision to remove Linik from office. “Secretary Pompeo recommended this move, and President Trump agreed,” a White House official said.
Prior to that, Trump also fired senior official Michael Atkinson, who was the first to warn Congress about the complaint, which led to the trial of his impeachment. The US president said he no longer trusts Atkins, while the Democrats accused him of trying to undermine the intelligence community.