Senate Finance Committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has once again turned his attention to President Donald Trump. Sen. Grassley demanding an explanation for his removal of State Dept. IG Steve Linick last Friday.
The Iowa Republican announced in a press release on Saturday, “Here again, inspectors general are crucial in correcting government failures and promoting the accountability that the American people deserve. Mr. Linick led the State Dept. IG’s office after the position had been intentionally left vacant for the first four years of the Obama Administration.”
Sen. Grassley stated, “Although he failed to fully evaluate the State Department’s role in advancing the debunked Russian collusion investigation, those shortcomings do not waive the President’s responsibility to provide details to Congress when removing an IG. 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.”
Grassley, with a long-standing reputation for defending inspectors general, said
Trump’s stated reasons for tossing State Department Inspector General Steve Linick on Friday were unsatisfactory even if the Iowa Republican himself had problems with the watchdog’s inquiry into the role the State Department played in the Trump-Russia saga.
GOP Senator Mitt Romney of Utah declared, “The firings of multiple Inspectors General is unprecedented; doing so without good cause chills the independence essential to their purpose.” Romney often has been a vocal critic of the president.
After Trump sacked intelligence community IG Michael Atkinson back in April, Sen. Grassley told: “Inspectors general provide a critical check on an otherwise unaccountable bureaucracy. In other words, they help drain the swamp. Their duty is to provide nonpartisan recommendations and remove politics from the inner workings of our federal government. The White House should empower inspectors general so they’re able to do their job.”
Plus he added, “President Trump must prioritize filling inspector general vacancies with permanent nominees so this important congressional oversight function can occur.” Now it seems that even his fellow Republicans are losing patience with the president.