ABC News reports:
The White House fired the State Department Inspector General late Friday, according to a State Department spokesperson and a senior congressional aide — the latest senior U.S. official involved in the impeachment probe into President Donald Trump to be forced out by his administration.
The inspector general, who acts as an independent watchdog responsible for investigating the agency, was investigating Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, according to the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Eliot Engel, D-NY.
Pompeo recommended to Trump that inspector general Steve Linick be fired and supported the president’s decision, a senior State Department official told ABC News. Appointed to the role in 2013 by President Barack Obama, Linick is a career government lawyer who served as a senior Justice Department official under President George W. Bush.
The late-night, weekend firing of State Department IG Steve Linick is an acceleration of the President’s dangerous pattern of retaliation against the patriotic public servants charged with conducting oversight on behalf of the American people. https://t.co/VavmuJpX25
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) May 16, 2020
UPDATE: It has been learned in the past hour that Inspector General Linick had just opened an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo prior to Linick’s Friday night firing. https://t.co/9H7DO6oDLV
— Travis Akers (@travisakers) May 16, 2020
“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.” https://t.co/RROBSto7YM
— Ned Price (@nedprice) May 16, 2020
Mr. Linick could certainly testify or be interviewed, as well as those who provided him info. https://t.co/hRbCAlxUJA
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) May 16, 2020
If Inspector General Linick was fired because he was conducting an investigation of conduct by Secretary Pompeo, the Senate cannot let this stand.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee must get to bottom of what happened here.
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) May 16, 2020