A scoop from Politico's Meridith McGraw late Friday night: "The State Department's inspector general has been terminated tonight, the latest of a slew of inspectors general to be ousted in recent months."
Steve Linick is a Justice Department veteran appointed to the role in 2013 by then-president Barack Obama, report McGraw and Nahal Toosi at Politico tonight.
State Department Inspector General Steve Linick has been fired, according to a senior administration official and a congressional aide.https://t.co/NAw2Z5ZqFT
— POLITICO (@politico) May 16, 2020
Read the rest at Politico.
Some intrigue behind the firing.
Tonight the State Dept's Inspector General was ousted. A Democratic aide on Capitol Hill tells me that the OIG was looking into Secretary Pompeo's misuse of a political appointee at the Department to perform personal tasks for himself and Mrs. Pompeo.
— Michele Kelemen (@michelekelemen) May 16, 2020
.@RepEliotEngel: "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." Whoa.
— Josh Rogin (@joshrogin) May 16, 2020
Here's the termination letter from Trump, below.
The U.S. State Department's website still lists this biography for inspector general Steve A. Linick, at the time of this blog post late on Friday night:
Steve A. Linick began his tenure as the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of State on September 30, 2013. As Inspector General, Mr. Linick is the senior official responsible for identifying operational risks within the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for Global Media, assessing the sufficiency of internal controls, and conducting administrative and criminal investigations of waste, fraud, mismanagement, and misconduct. He is responsible for providing oversight of more than 70,000 Department of State and U.S. Agency for Global Media employees, 270 overseas missions and other facilities worldwide, and more than $70 billion in Department of State, U.S. Agency for Global Media, and foreign assistance resources. He also serves as the Associate Inspector General for designated overseas contingency operations. Before his appointment to this position, he served as the first Inspector General of the Federal Housing Finance Agency from 2010 until 2013.
Mr. Linick's professional memberships have included the President's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency's (CIGIE) Investigations Committee, the CIGIE Legislation Committee; the Council of the Inspectors General on Financial Oversight, and the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group. Mr. Linick currently is the chair of the CIGIE Inspections and Evaluation Committee.
Mr. Linick served as an Assistant United States Attorney in California (1994-1999) and Virginia (1999-2006). He also served as both Executive Director of the Department of Justice's National Procurement Fraud Task Force and Deputy Chief of its Fraud Section in the Criminal Division (2006-2010). During his tenure at the Department of Justice, he supervised and participated in white-collar criminal fraud cases involving, among other things, corruption and contract fraud against the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mr. Linick earned a Bachelor of Arts (1985) and Master of Arts (1990) in Philosophy and a Juris Doctor (1990). All of his degrees are from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
Well, then, that's not weird at all late on a Friday night, then, is it.
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
— Nancy Cook (@nancook) May 16, 2020
– State Dept inspector general was fired.
– Intel briefings for the Biden campaign were moved from the less politicized FBI to Grenell's ODNI.
– NCTC was partly dismantled.
Trump is relentlessly tightening his grip on power—by controlling the organs of nat'l security.
— Joshua A. Geltzer (@jgeltzer) May 16, 2020