President Trump removed the inspector general tasked with overseeing the State Department after receiving a recommendation to oust him from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, according to multiple reports.
Trump informed congressional leaders on Friday that he was ousting State Department Inspector General Steve Linick, who was appointed to the role in 2013 by former President Obama, and replacing him with Ambassador Stephen Akard, a former career Foreign Service officer.
The move prompted outrage from top Democratic lawmakers, who just one day later announced an investigation into the decision. Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) said in a statement that they suspected the firing was linked to Linick’s review of Pompeo’s conduct.
“Reports indicate that Secretary Pompeo personally made the recommendation to fire Mr. Linick, and it is our understanding that he did so because the inspector general had opened an investigation into wrongdoing by Secretary Pompeo himself,” the lawmakers said.
A Democratic aide told NPR on Saturday that Linick was reviewing whether Pompeo misused a political appointee at the State Department to perform personal tasks for him and his wife.
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