Although many of the other issues that the United States has been facing lately may overshadow the Trump administration’s brazen corruption, it’s still there. During an appearance on Fox early this Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo brazenly admitted that personal political interests weighed on President Donald Trump’s recent firing of Steve Linick from his post as the ethics oversight official responsible for the State Department. Pompeo complained that Linick had not been supportive enough of the foreign policy of Trump and his goons — but that’s quite literally not an inspector general’s job.
Mike Pompeo had the State Department IG fired when he was investigating Pompeo's:
1-Taxpayer funded political dinners
2-Bypassing of Congress to sell arms to Saudi Arabia
3-Forcing Diplomatic Security agents to run personal errands
Americans deserve better. pic.twitter.com/g9ZqcqWscW
— Joel Rubin (@JoelMartinRubin) May 25, 2020
‘All we’ve done is simply make sure… that we had an inspector general that was working towards the mission of the United States Department of State and the foreign policy of Donald Trump… These attacks have become very personal to me. They’ve now gone after my wife… They’ve attacked me for my faith. They’ve attacked my wife for trying to help the State Department and the CIA be better.’
More from Pompeo, responding to Bartiromo's question on Linick's ouster: "These attacks have become very personal to me. They've now gone after my wife. … They've attacked me for my faith. They've attacked my wife for trying to help the State Department and the CIA be better."
— Will Saletan (@saletan) May 31, 2020
First of all, the idea that there is some kind of conspiracy to make Pompeo’s wife look bad is laughable. In reality, one of the investigations that Linick was handling at the time of his firing covered Pompeo’s demands for diplomatic security agents to carry out personal errands like walking the Pompeos’ dog. Noting that tasking government officials with those errands is an abuse of power is not some kind of nefarious conspiracy — is Pompeo’s unelected and unaccountable wife leading some kind of other secret policy charge at the department?
Pompeo just admitted his unelected & unappointed wife has influence over The State Dept & the CIA.
Think about that. https://t.co/QkaEWQn0P3
— Sure Rants-Alot (@voxrob) May 31, 2020
More broadly — inspectors general are not supposed to serve to support the foreign policy of the president. That’s the opposite of their job description, which outlines their role as meant to be distinct from the political arms of the administration. That’s not a difficult distinction to grasp — Pompeo is either ignorant of the authoritarianism at hand, doesn’t care, or both.
aka “they were investigating me for corrupt activities, which is doing their job — which we don’t like. We prefer loyal stooges in this Department who don’t question my flagrant abuse of power and misuse of taxpayer funds to further my personal political ambitions” https://t.co/sTAaVucnAV
— barb dybwad (@doctorparadox) May 31, 2020
The Inspector General Act of 1978 states that inspectors general “shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, without regard to political affiliation and solely on the basis of integrity and demonstrated ability” (emphasis added). The legislation adds:
‘Neither the head of the establishment nor the officer next in rank below such head shall prevent or prohibit the Inspector General from initiating, carrying out, or completing any audit or investigation, or from issuing any subpoena during the course of any audit or investigation.’
Those heads of the establishments in question seem to refer to officials like Pompeo, whose establishment is the State Department. He is apparently explicitly prohibited from blocking inspectors general from doing their jobs and carrying out “any investigation,” but that’s exactly what he did. At the time that he got the president to fire Linick, the official was looking into issues like the Trump administration’s rushed sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia and the Secretary of State’s own pattern of hosting expensive dinners for special guests at the taxpayer’s expense.
Why would the CEO of Chick-fil-A have a say in foreign affairs? We can’t imagine a reason, but Sec. Pompeo invited him to a taxpayer-funded Madison Dinner anyway. We’re investigating the cost to taxpayers. https://t.co/vaEBFHUJ0J
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) May 31, 2020
The corruption fits a much larger pattern of similar behavior from the Trump administration, which has been defrauding the American people throughout its almost four years in power.
We don’t have a president.
We have an anti-president whose only goal is to dismantle government in order to enable corruption and profit.
Trump has no desire to lead. No interest in quelling chaos. In saving lives. This lays at his door. It all lays at his door.
— Jared Yates Sexton (@JYSexton) May 31, 2020