President Donald Trump is now facing backlash from two members of his own party after he exercised his right to fire an official from his own administration.
Republican Sen.s Mitt Romney of Utah and Chuck Grassley of Iowa both went after Trump over the weekend after he fired the State Department Inspector General Steve Linick.
“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,” Romney said.
Grassley also was not happy with the president’s decision.
“As I’ve said before, Congress requires written reasons justifying an IG’s removal. A general lack of confidence simply is not sufficient detail to satisfy Congress,” he said.
They were joined by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who also took issue with Trump exercising his legal and constitutional right to remove anyone he pleases from his own administration.
“I have long been a strong advocate for the Inspectors General. They are vital partners in Congress’s effort to identify inefficient or ineffective government programs and to root out fraud and other wrongdoing,” Pelosi decried.
“The investigations and reports of IGs throughout the government help Congress shape legislation and oversight activities – improving government performance, providing important transparency into programs, and giving Americans better value for their tax dollar,” she said.
Of course, Romney and Grassley are either failing to comprehend the obvious or they are choosing to score cheap political points with Democrats and the liberal media.
An Inspectors general serves at the pleasure of the president and can be replaced for any reason a president chooses.
For example, former President Barack Obama fired AmeriCorps Inspector General Gerald Walpin back 2009 when the IG was investigating Kevin Johnson, the former NBA star and mayor of Sacramento, California.
The Wall Street Journal reported in June 2009:
A George W. Bush appointee, Mr. Walpin has since 2007 been the inspector general for the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that oversees such subsidized volunteer programs as AmeriCorps. In April 2008 the Corporation asked Mr. Walpin to investigate reports of irregularities at St. HOPE, a California nonprofit run by former NBA star and Obama supporter Kevin Johnson. St. HOPE had received an $850,000 AmeriCorps grant, which was supposed to go for three purposes: tutoring for Sacramento-area students; the redevelopment of several buildings; and theater and art programs.
Mr. Walpin’s investigators discovered that the money had been used instead to pad staff salaries, meddle politically in a school-board election, and have AmeriCorps members perform personal services for Mr. Johnson, including washing his car.
At the end of May, Mr. Walpin’s office recommended that Mr. Johnson, an assistant and St. HOPE itself be “suspended” from receiving federal funds. The Corporation’s official charged with suspensions agreed, and in September the suspension letters went out. Mr. Walpin’s office also sent a civil and/or criminal referral to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California.
So far, so normal. But that all changed last fall, when Mr. Johnson was elected mayor of Sacramento. News of the suspension had become public, and President Obama began to discuss his federal stimulus spending. A city-hired attorney pronounced in March that Sacramento might be barred from receiving stimulus funds because of Mr. Johnson’s suspension.
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