Trump Fires Yet Another Inspector General

Caroline Brehman/Congressional Quarterly via ZUMA

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Oh hey, President Trump fired yet another inspector general last night. Was it because he helped out in the impeachment probe, like the other IGs Trump has fired? Yes, but only peripherally (he was looking into Rudy Giuliani’s efforts to get our Ukraine ambassador fired). So what did he do?

State Department Inspector General Steve Linick was fired Friday in a late-night ouster that drew condemnations from Democrats….Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D.-N.Y.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, claimed the State Inspector General was fired after opening an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and said the timing suggested “an unlawful act of retaliation.”

….A Democratic congressional aide said that Linick was looking into Pompeo’s “misuse of a political appointee at the Department to perform personal tasks for himself and Mrs. Pompeo.”

The Trump message continues to get stronger every day. If you so much as open an investigation against someone in the Trump administration, you’re fired.

Needless to say, this poses a problem. The job of an inspector general is to audit the cabinet department he works for. But since Trump is currently president, everyone in every cabinet department is part of the Trump administration. This basically means that the entire IG corps is on notice not to seriously investigate anyone.

Of course, this only poses a problem for you and me. For Trump, it’s exactly the message he wants to send. And you won’t hear a peep out of Republicans about this. Apparently they’re just fine with it.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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