US Politics

Grassley Demands Justification for Trumps Firing of State Department Watchdog

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is among several Republican lawmakers to call for a more detailed justification of President Donald Trumps firing of the State Departments inspector general.

“Congress requires written reasons justifying an IGs removal. A general lack of confidence simply is not sufficient detail to satisfy Congress,” Grassley, co-chair of the Whistleblower Protection Caucus, wrote in a statement.

Trump told Congress in a May 15 letter that he had decided to dismiss State Department Inspector General Steve Linick, stating: “It is vital that I have the fullest confidence in the appointees serving as Inspectors General. That is no longer the case with regard to this Inspector General.”

A White House official said on May 16 that the decision to oust Linick was prompted by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo himself. “Secretary Pompeo recommended the move, and President Trump agreed,” the official said.

steve linick
U.S. State Department Inspector General Steve Linick departs the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on October 2, 2019. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Linick is expected to serve for several more weeks as, by law, the administration must give Congress 30 days notice of plans to dismiss an inspector general.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) was another Republican lawmaker to criticize the move, writing on Twitter that the 2008 Inspector General Reform Act requires a president to detail the reasons for firing an inspector general.

“The President has not provided the kind of justification for the removal of IG Linick required by this law,” Collins wrote.

Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, a vocal Trump critic, responded more broadly to the dismissal of Linick, who was the fourth watchdog axed in the last three months.

“The firings of multiple Inspectors General is unprecedented; doing so without good cause chills the independence essential to their purpose,” Romney wrote in a tweet. “It is a threat to accountable democracy and a fissure in the constitutional balance of power.”

Sen. Mitt Romney
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) arrives for the Republican policy luncheon at the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, on March 19, 2020. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

Defending the presidents actions was senior adviser Peter Navarro, who on Sunday said Trump “clearly has the legal authority” to remove Linick.

“Theres a bureaucracy out there. Theres a lot of people in that bureaucracy who think that they got elected president and not Donald J. Trump,” he told ABC in an interview.

“Some people call it the deep state. I think thats apt,” Navarro said, adding, “Theres always going to be somebody better to replace them, somebody more loyal—not to the president necessarily—but to the Trump agenda.”

“So, I dont mourn the loss of people when they leave this bureaucracy,” he added.

Epoch Times Photo
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro listens to a news conference about a presidential executive order relating to military veterans outside of the West Wing of the White House in Washington, U.S. March 4, 2019. (Reuters/Leah Millis)

In his call for justification of Linicks dismissal, Grassley said that while he objected to how the watchdRead More From Source

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The Epoch Times

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