An American president’s personnel issues are typically a mundane part of the job — unless the man in office happens to be President Donald Trump, in which case it becomes the catalyst for yet another investigation.
“Trump has fired the State Department inspector general in his latest effort targeting key watchdogs across the government,” is how Manu Raju of CNN characterized it in a tweet with an image of the president’s letter.
“According to this letter he sent to Pelosi, Trump says he ‘no longer’ has the ‘fullest confidence’ in the State inspector general. Effective in 30 days.”
Trump has fired the State Department inspector general in his latest effort targeting key watchdogs across the government. According to this letter he sent to Pelosi, Trump says he “no longer” has the “fullest confidence” in the State inspector general. Effective in 30 days. pic.twitter.com/9U4Q3HXd9W
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) May 16, 2020
But the president is completely within his right to fire an inspector general with the appropriate notice.
Nevertheless, as if right on cue, Pelosi expressed her outrage with the proper legalese to justify what inevitably comes next: another investigation.
“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,” Pelosi tweeted regarding the ouster of the Obama administration holdover.
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
Sure enough, the “dangerous” firing prompted an investigation which Democratic lawmakers launched Saturday, according to Reuters (although these days, just about everything the president does leads to some sort of Democratic investigation).
New York Rep. Eliot Engel, the House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman, and New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, accused the president of misconduct in an open letter to the White House.
The Democratic politicians asserted that Trump wrongly fired Linick because of his investigation of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, calling it an “illegal act of retaliation.”
“We unalterably oppose the politically-motivated firing of inspectors general and the President’s gutting of these critical positions.”
Although the Trump administration did not elaborate further, the Daily Caller countered with the theory that Linick was fired after last year’s Department of Defense inspector general investigation “for mishandling sensitive material” pertaining to another one the left’s witch hunt investigations, Trump’s supposed withholding of aid to Ukraine in a quid pro quo.
Despite the sky-is-falling nature of their reaction, Pelosi and her cohorts apparently forgot that during the Obama administration, there was no “patriotic public servant” in that IG role at all for four years.
In fact, for the entire tenure of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and until five months after she left the position, former President Barack Obama did not put forth or confirm a nominee for the position, The Wall Street Journal reported in 2015.
Furthermore, Obama himself once fired an inspector general for the Corporation for National and Community Service, Gerald Walpin in June 2009.
Just like Trump, he too cited lack of confidence in a letter to Pelosi and then-Vice President Joe Biden at the time, according to The New York Times.
But unlike with Trump, Walpin had already uncovered inappropriate use of AmeriCorps funds and believed his firing had something to do with investigations of Obama’s buddy Kevin Johnson, the former Democratic mayor of Sacramento and ex-NBA player.
Walpin sought restitution in court but ultimately lost his lawsuit since he did not have a sufficient case under the 2008 Inspector General Reform Act for either the reason given or his right to the position (it will be interesting to see how it may be applied this time).
Like the rest of the scandals the Democrats have thrown at Trump, this too will turn out to be nothing except a waste of time and proof that miraculously, Trump is the cleanest politician ever to grace the Oval Office.
Democrats are beating the war drums once again to try to “get” the president for another phony scandal, and this time their blatant hypocrisy will be their undoing.
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