President Donald Trump notified Congress on Friday that he is firing the inspector general of the U.S. intelligence community who was involved in triggering an impeachment probe of the president last year.
In a letter to key lawmakers, Trump said he planned to remove the official, Michael Atkinson, in 30 days, saying, “it is vital that I have the fullest confidence in the appointees serving as inspectors general.”
“This is no longer the case with regard to this inspector general,” he said. Atkinson, a Trump appointee, had determined that a whistleblower’s report was credible in alleging Trump abused his office in attempting to solicit Ukraine’s interference in the 2020 U.S. election for his political benefit.
Late on a Friday night in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis, Trump has fired Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community inspector general who insisted on telling lawmakers about the Ukraine scandal whistleblower complaints. w/ @maggieNYT @npfandos https://t.co/fyCCs2QRsu
— Charlie Savage (@charlie_savage) April 4, 2020
Done on a Friday in the middle of a pandemic so no one would notice.
Trump fires watchdog who handled Ukraine complaint. https://t.co/2h0eQ5kpu6
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) April 4, 2020
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) April 4, 2020
If you act honorably and honestly, Donald Trump will fire you.
— Ted Boutrous (@BoutrousTed) April 4, 2020
— Lou Dobbs (@LouDobbs) April 4, 2020
By law, firing an IG requires the President to provide a reason. That means a valid reason. “Loss of confidence” that results from the IG exercising his independence and doing his job is not a valid reason. This requires immediate oversight hearings. https://t.co/asqmOXCGxB
— Michael R. Bromwich (@mrbromwich) April 4, 2020
Senate Intel vice chair @MarkWarner: “In the midst of a national emergency, it is unconscionable that the President is once again attempting to undermine the integrity of the IC by firing yet another an intelligence official simply for doing his job…” https://t.co/0iz6On0aH3
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) April 4, 2020