Romney and Democrats target Trump over State Department Inspector General firing

The president was totally within his rights under the Constitution.

At the request of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, President Donald Trump fired State Department Inspector General Steve Linick last Friday. The reason was poor work performance. As head of the executive branch the president has the legal power to fire anyone who serves in it. The Department of State falls under that authority, thus Linick’s termination.

But Democrats are not interested in the law, they are interested in getting Trump. So they are launching yet another probe to enable them to make false charges in an election year. This time two Republicans —one a usual Trump supporter…you can guess who the other one is— are joining the Democrats in questioning the completely constitutional actions of the president. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is defending the president.

“He is certainly within his authority. He gets to hire and fire under the Constitution…all people in the executive branch,” McConnell said to the media on Tuesday.

Democrats have a different view: “President Trump’s unprecedented removal of Inspector General Linick is only his latest sacking of an inspector general, our government’s key independent watchdogs, from a federal agency. We unalterably oppose the politically-motivated firing of inspectors general and the President’s gutting of these critical positions,” the Democrats said via Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY).

The statement by the Democrats claimed, “Reports indicate that Secretary Pompeo personally made the recommendation to fire Mr. Linick, and it is our understanding that he did so because the Inspector General had opened an investigation into wrongdoing by Secretary Pompeo himself. Such an action, transparently designed to protect Secretary Pompeo from personal accountability, would undermine the foundation of our democratic institutions and may be an illegal act of retaliation.”

Mike Pompeo totally denies the charges of the Democrats, saying, “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. I had an IG at the CIA, not the IG that I had chosen but an IG that was there before me. He did fantastic work. He made us better. Linick wasn’t that.”

Republican Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and, you guessed it, Mitt Romney (R-UT) are opposing the president and Pompeo: “Congress’s intent is clear that an expression of lost confidence, without further explanation, is not sufficient to fulfill the requirements of the IG Reform Act,” Grassley wrote on Monday. “This is in large part because Congress intended that inspectors general only be removed when there is clear evidence of unfitness, wrongdoing, or failure to perform the duties of the office.”

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

The criticism by Grassley is relatively surprising, though he has been very supportive of all IGs in the past. But the Romney apostasy is par for the course for him and his sometime Democrat associates. However, it has nothing to do with merit or the law. It is a purely political hit against the president. Pompeo has just been caught in Democrat collateral damage.

This piece was written by PoliZette Staff on May 20, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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