Politics NewsTop News

Fired U.S. State Department watchdog tells lawmakers he was impartial

imagePolitics3 hours ago (Jun 03, 2020 06:30PM ET)

(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. State Department Inspector General Linick departs after briefing House and Senate Intelligence committees at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

By Patricia Zengerle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A State Department inspector general abruptly fired by U.S. President Donald Trump last month defended his record to lawmakers on Wednesday, saying he had served in his oversight role without regard to politics.

Trump fired Steve Linick as State Department Inspector General on May 15, making him the fourth government watchdog dismissed by the Republican president in recent months.

Inspectors general are charged with preventing fraud and abuse at government agencies. The dismissals prompted concern from lawmakers, Democrats and some of Trump’s fellow Republicans, over whether inspectors general would be able to do their work.

“In carrying out my work, I have always taken the facts and evidence wherever they lead and have been faithfully committed to conducting independent and impartial oversight,” Linick said in a prepared statement obtained by Reuters.

Linick’s dismissal prompted Democrats to launch an investigation, including Wednesday’s interview by members of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees and Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The interview was conducted remotely and lasted about seven hours. While it took place behind closed doors, the committees have promised to release a transcript.

Linick’s statement did not address reasons for his dismissal. Defending his seven-year record at State, he noted his office issued nearly 700 reports and identified savings for taxpayers of close to $2 billion.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he asked Trump to fire Linick, although he did not provide a reason for the request.

Members of Congress have said Linick was investigating Trump’s decision to declare a national emergency last year in order to sell arms to Saudi Arabia despite congressional objections, as well as allegations Pompeo used a taxpayer-funded employee for personal errands.

Fired U.S. State Department watchdog tells lawmakers he was impartial

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

Related Articles

Back to top button

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.

Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!