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Washington DC and The Holy Land>Trump’s Purge of Inspectors General Deepens His Ability to Corrupt the Government
Eleazar 03:12 PM 05-16-2020
Trump’s Purge of Inspectors General Deepens His Ability to Corrupt the Government

Philip Rotner



Donald Trump is going after federal inspectors general. On Monday, the president removed Glenn Fine from his role as acting inspector general. Fine had been selected to lead the newly created Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, the designated watchdog to oversee the allocation of the $2 trillion dollars in coronavirus relief funding. By firing Fine, Trump eliminated another barrier to corruption.

Trump’s failure to corrupt the executive branch all the way down to the level of inspectors general was a large factor in the lead up to his impeachment. Six months ago, I wrote as much:

Over the last two weeks, two federal inspectors general—the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) and the State Department Inspector General (DOS-OIG)—have stepped forward to expose presidential misconduct that has put Trump on a fast track to impeachment.

And so it did.

Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) Michael Atkinson overcame a frantic White House and DOJ effort to silence him and ultimately succeeded in bringing to the attention of Congress a whistleblower’s credible and urgent allegation that Trump had conditioned aid to Ukraine on an announcement of an investigation into his likely opponent in the 2020 presidential election. Atkinson’s brave action ultimately led in a straight line to Trump’s impeachment.

But the bigger story was always that Trump would likely learn from this incident and take his corruption of the executive branch to a whole new level:

If he wasn’t paying attention to inspectors general during his first years in office, he is now. Look for him to start replacing them, claiming that he’s draining the swamp.

And if Trump remains in office—and especially if he’s re-elected in 2020—he’ll have not only the incentive, but also the time to finish the job.

And so he has.

ICIG Atkinson was the first casualty of Trump’s recent purge of the federal inspectors general.

Atkinson’s crime, of course, was doing his job. Upon determining that the Ukraine whistleblower’s report was both credible and urgent, Atkinson was required by law to provide it to the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) who, in turn, was required to transmit it to the congressional intelligence committees. The language of the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act is mandatory, not discretionary: the DNI “shall within 7 calendar days of such receipt forward such transmittal to the congressional intelligence committees” of Congress. “Shall” means shall.

Atkinson did exactly what the law required him to do. He provided the whistleblower’s report to acting DNI, Joseph Maguire. Although Maguire initially contorted himself into a pretzel in an attempt to avoid doing his part, eventually the whistleblower’s report was provided to Congress thus leading to the impeachment proceedings late last year.

Trump has only gotten bolder in his attempts to thwart accountability. His attempt to push through a $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill without any accountability for how that money would be spent was met by Senate Democrats successfully insisting that there be some monitoring of how the government would be handing out the billions of dollars of aid authorized by the bill – rather than just leaving it to the highly suspect discretion of Donald Trump and Steve Mnuchin.

Trump attempted to eviscerate the oversight required by the aid bill by issuing a “signing statement” that said he would not permit the new inspector general to issue certain reports to Congress “without presidential supervision.” But apparently that wasn’t enough self-protection for Trump.

By firing Fine, and replacing him with Sean O’Donnell, the EPA’s inspector general, Trump killed two birds with one stone.

First, he removed non-Trumper Fine, a government watchdog known for independence, from a sensitive position that could hold him accountable for any self-serving manipulation of the enormous pot of money Congress had created. Second, he created a vacancy in the EPA inspector general position that he can later fill with a loyalist who can be counted upon to advance his agenda of weakening environmental regulations.

And the purge of inspectors general is just beginning.

Axios reports that sources close to Trump “expect him to fire more inspectors general across his government …” Trump appears to have embraced the view of some of his political allies that the inspectors general are part of the “deep state” that is trying to undermine him. Put differently, Trump appears to have learned that corrupting the highest levels of government by surrounding himself with people whose primary qualification is personal loyalty, isn’t enough. He has to dig deeper into the executive branch if he wants to avoid accountability.

The next inspector general to be purged might be HHS IG Christi Grimm. On Monday, Trump attacked Grimm, tweeting that she spent 8 years with the Obama administration, suggesting that she might have some responsibility for the “Swine Flu debacle where 17,000 died,” and accusing her of submitting “Another Fake Dossier!”

Grimm had just issued a report detailing a history of severe shortages of testing supplies, extended waits for results, widespread shortages of PPE, difficulty maintaining adequate staffing and hospital capacity, shortages of critical supplies and logistic support, anticipated shortages of ventilators, and “changing and sometimes inconsistent guidance” from the federal government.

Grimm’s report, which only confirmed what everybody has known for weeks, didn’t fit with Trump’s preferred narrative that he was doing a great job in managing the crisis. Her firing will not come as a surprise and can’t be far off.

In the long run, Trump’s purge of inspectors general will turn out to be far more damaging to our government than his mostly one-off revenge-firings of individuals who provided truthful testimony against him in the impeachment process.

Inspectors general play a unique watchdog role to prevent misconduct, waste, fraud and other abuse within agencies of the federal government. Congress enacted the Inspector General Act of 1978 precisely to make sure that agencies within the executive branch are held accountable from within by an independent, non-partisan organization. And it works – or at least it has so far. Witness, for example, the role of the ICIG in shining light on activities that led to Trump’s impeachment.

But there’s a massive loophole in the Act, and Trump is driving a Mack truck through it: cabinet-level IG’s, including those within the intelligence community and the State Department, are appointed by the president.

Now that Trump has finally tumbled upon how much damage independent IG’s can do to him, he’s correcting (without admitting, of course) his earlier mistake of failing to drive his corruption deep enough to reach the watchdogs.

From now on, he’ll make sure that he appoints foxes to guard the henhouses.

And his second term, if he gets one, will make the first look like a golden age.


https://thebulwark.com/ig-purge/
[Reply]
Merde Furieux 12:48 PM 05-18-2020

[Reply]
ChiTown 01:10 PM 05-18-2020
Originally Posted by cosmo20002:
That is really stupid.
You think it is wrong, but you're also mocking people who think it is wrong. Brillaint.
No, I am knocking the constant teeth gnashing, and I said...
http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showp...9&postcount=52

also, I love your misspelled use of BRILLIANT. Never fails.... :-)
[Reply]
cosmo20002 01:15 PM 05-18-2020
Originally Posted by ChiTown:
No, I am knocking the constant teeth gnashing, and I said...
http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showp...9&postcount=52

also, I love your misspelled use of BRILLIANT. Never fails.... :-)
moran
[Reply]
ChiTown 01:16 PM 05-18-2020
Originally Posted by cosmo20002:
moran
looser...
[Reply]
NinerDoug 01:16 PM 05-18-2020
The Trump Administration is the most corrupt Administration in history. Makes Nixon look squeaky clean.
[Reply]
Prison Bitch 01:20 PM 05-18-2020
Originally Posted by NinerDoug:
The Trump Administration is the most corrupt Administration in history. Makes Nixon look squeaky clean.
Have any of them brought made up sex assault allegations against anyone?
[Reply]
NinerDoug 01:25 PM 05-18-2020
Originally Posted by Prison Bitch:
Have any of them brought made up sex assault allegations against anyone?
Not that I know of. Which Administration did that?
[Reply]
cosmo20002 01:26 PM 05-18-2020
Originally Posted by ChiTown:
looser...
:-)
[Reply]
cosmo20002 01:34 PM 05-18-2020
Originally Posted by NinerDoug:
The Trump Administration is the most corrupt Administration in history. Makes Nixon look squeaky clean.
Drain the swampers cheer when investigators are fired for investigating the shit they claimed to have wanted drained.
These people are just the worst.
[Reply]
NinerDoug 01:54 PM 05-18-2020
Originally Posted by cosmo20002:
Drain the swampers cheer when investigators are fired for investigating the shit they claimed to have wanted drained.
These people are just the worst.
Truth.

They never actually wanted a swamp drained. They wanted a Roman style proscription.
[Reply]
LiveSteam 02:12 PM 05-18-2020
Why was this IG investigated by the DOD?
[Reply]
Donger 02:19 PM 05-18-2020
Washington (CNN)Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told The Washington Post on Monday that he had recommended that State Department Inspector General Steve Linick be fired because the independent watchdog was "undermining" the department and wasn't performing in a way that the top US diplomat wanted him to.

"I went to the President and made clear to him that Inspector General Linick wasn't performing a function in a way that we had tried to get him to, that was additive for the State Department, very consistent with what the statute says he's supposed to be doing," he said in an interview with the Post. "The kinds of activities he's supposed to undertake to make us better, to improve us."

He did not go into details about what specifically displeased him about Linick's job performance.

Pompeo, in his first public comments on the matter, claimed he was not aware that Linick was investigating him at the time he recommended that the IG be removed. According to the Post, he only knew about one case "involving a national security matter."

"It is not possible that this decision, or my recommendation, rather, to the President, rather, was based on any effort to retaliate for any investigation that was going on, or is currently going on," Pompeo said. "Because I simply don't know. I'm not briefed on it. I usually see these investigations in final draft form 24 hours, 48 hours, before the IG is prepared to release them."

"So it's simply not possible for this to be an act of retaliation. End of story," he said.

State Department Undersecretary for Management Brian Bulatao also suggested to the Post that leaks from the Office of Inspector General played a role in Linick's removal, but said they did not have evidence that the ousted IG was personally involved with the leaks.

The Office of Inspector General acts as an independent watchdog of the State Department. One of its core values is "integrity" -- "We maintain our independence and act with courage, honesty, and professionalism. Our work is fact-based, objective, and supported by sufficient evidence that meets professional standards," it states on its website.

Trump informed Congress on Friday of his intent to fire Linick. A senior State Department official told CNN then that Pompeo had made the recommendation.

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat, said Monday that the ousted IG had almost finished an investigation into Pompeo's decision to fast-track an $8 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia.

Later on Monday a congressional aide confirmed that Pompeo had refused to sit for an interview with the inspector general's office as part of that investigation.
[Reply]
Just Passin' By 11:49 AM 05-19-2020
Originally Posted by :
Oh, About That IG ‘Wrongfully’ Fired by Mike Pompeo; Turns out Dems May Want to Hold Their Fire

On Friday, it was reported that State Department Inspector General Steve Linick had been fired. Immediately, the left pounced calling it “an unlawful act of retaliation.” The story was that Linick was conducting an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for asking subordinates to run personal errands for him and his wife.

Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) said, “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.”

House Democrats may want to hold their fire and take a look at a report which appeared in The Washington Post on Monday...
https://www.redstate.com/elizabeth-v...valid-reasons/
[Reply]
Merde Furieux 10:12 AM 06-03-2020
Originally Posted by Donger:
Washington (CNN)The State Department inspector general fired by President Donald Trump on Friday, Steve Linick, had nearly completed an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's decision to fast-track an $8 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia, according to House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman, Rep. Eliot Engel.

"I have learned that there may be another reason for Mr. Linick's firing. His office was investigating — at my request — Trump's phony declaration of an emergency so he could send weapons to Saudi Arabia. We don't have the full picture yet, but it's troubling that Secretary Pompeo wanted Mr. Linick pushed out before this work could be completed," Engel, a Democrat from New York, said in a statement to CNN Monday.
Rep. Eliot Engel caught on hot mic saying he doesn’t care about looting



NY Rep. Eliot Engel, the 16-term Democratic congressman who was largely missing in action as his Bronx district was ravaged by the coronavirus, returned on Tuesday — only to declare he didn’t really care about the looting rocking his constituents.

The Bronx-Westchester lawmaker, 73, was at a press conference with local leaders and elected officials when he asked Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. if he could make some remarks at the microphone.

When Diaz Jr. said there were too many people on the list, Engel mumbled through his face mask: “If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care.”

“What was that?” Diaz Jr. asked him, according to the audio captured on a News 12 live feed of the event and shared on Twitter by NY1 reporter Emily Ngo.

“If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t care,” he repeated.

https://nypost.com/2020/06/02/rep-el...about-looting/
[Reply]
Merde Furieux 08:58 AM 06-16-2020
embattled Rep. Eliot Engel landed a big endorsement Monday in his tough Democratic primary re-election fight – from former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

https://nypost.com/2020/06/15/hillar...primary-fight/
[Reply]
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