Pelosi: If Trump Fired State Dept. IG as Retaliation, It Could Be Unlawful

Pelosi: If Trump Fired State Dept. IG as Retaliation, It Could Be Unlawful


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Janet Ybarra
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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If Donald Trump’s firing of State Department Inspector General Steve Linick was as retaliation for investigations by Linick, that could be illegal, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Trump fired Linick late Friday, giving no specific reason for doing so. Linick is the fourth such agency watchdog Trump has sacked in recent weeks.

Linick was looking into whether Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was forcing State Department employees to walk his dog and do other personal errands, according to congressional sources.

“Well, this is new to us and typical of the White House announcing something that is very unsavory. They would do it late on a Friday night. The fact is, as you indicated, it’s the fourth inspector general–inspectors general–that office was created after Watergate to make sure that there was integrity in the departments, the agencies of government,” Pelosi said in an on-air interview with Margaret Brennan, host of the CBS News program, Face the Nation. “They’re supposed to show cause. Even Republicans in Congress are concerned about and have spoken out …

“Well, I mean, unsavory when you take out someone who is there to stop waste, fraud, abuse or other violations of the law that they believed to be happening,” Pelosi added. “So, again, let’s take a look and see. The president has the right to fire any federal employee. But the fact is, if it looks like it’s in retaliation for something that the attorney–the IG, the inspector general–is doing, that could be unlawful.”

Trump already has been impeached once for unlawful activity.

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