Trump firing of Steve Linick linked to Pompeo investigation, Dems say
Congressional Democrats vowed to investigate President Trump for his late-night firing of a government watchdog — because, they said, the official had launched a probe into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Steve Linick, the State Department’s inspector general, was abruptly removed from his post Friday, as Trump declared that he “no longer” had the “fullest confidence” in Linick’s work, according to a letter he sent to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
But Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, cried foul.
“This President believes he is above the law,” Engel said in a statement in which he claimed to have knowledge of an ongoing Pompeo investigation. “Mr. Linick’s firing amid such a probe strongly suggests that this is an unlawful act of retaliation.”
The probe involves allegations that Pompeo tasked an employee with performing personal services for himself and his wife, a Congressional aide told Politico.
“Another apparent act of retaliation and cover up,” tweeted Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.). “This surfeit of corruption must end. And soon.”
Linick’s is the fourth firing of a federal inspector general in the last six weeks. Three of them had publicly drawn Trump’s ire in recent months.