More charges against former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and members of his former team have surfaced thanks to newly unredacted data from a State Department whistleblower complaint.
Pompeo and others were accused of misbehavior, according to papers obtained by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).
“The alleged misconduct included false or misleading statements to the agency’s legal department, misuse of government resources on personal and political activities potentially prohibited by the Hatch Act, verbal abuse of employees by Mike and Susan Pompeo, and directives to staff not to communicate in writing in order to evade transparency laws,” the publication reports.
The unredacted records arrive two years after the State Department’s Office of Inspector General received the redacted version of the whistleblower complaint (OIG). In the version of the materials supplied to CREW, the OIG is alleged to have removed several of the previous redactions.
“The complaint alleges “[s]everal senior career Foreign Service officials who held positions of responsibility within the Executive Secretariat” turned a blind eye to Pompeo’s “questionable activities” and, in some cases, “facilitat[ed]” them, according to CREW.
Employees in the State Department’s Office “expressed concern that some of these activities may have violated [the] Hatch Act or other regulations,” but the whistleblower was “unaware that any resolution was reached, potentially because senior officials in the Executive Secretariat repeatedly declined to seek clarification or guidance from [the Office of the Legal Adviser] despite requests from subordinates to do so.”
The new documents also show what happened when former Inspector Steve Linick was fired, which was part of a larger Trump-led attempt to fire inspectors. Staff workers were likewise “stunned” by the command, according to the report.
“This is all so surreal three days later. I’m nervous about the future,” the OIG employee wrote in a May 18, 2020 email. In a later email, the official added, “I just heard Trump say we needed to get rid of the ‘Attorney Generals’ as a whole…Oh, dear.”
Other documents have been received by CREW as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit aimed at learning more about Pompeo’s attempts to obstruct the investigation into the claims of wrongdoing against him.
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Pompeo made headlines back in August after a video montage of his comments about the US withdrawal from Afghanistan while he was in the Trump administration compared to his comments now that President Joe Biden is overseeing the drawdown has been viewed nearly 900,000 times.
Former President Donald Trump’s negotiations with the Taliban ended in the signing of a February 2020 peace plan that called for the full departure of US soldiers from Afghanistan by May 2021. Pompeo was a key figure in those negotiations. President Joe Biden delayed the withdrawal date back to September 11 after taking office in January, then brought it forward to August 31. However, on August 15, the Taliban had recovered near-total control of Afghanistan, two weeks ahead of schedule.
Pompeo and Trump have slammed Biden’s handling of the US troop pullout on many occasions. Meanwhile, several prominent Republicans have slammed Trump’s administration for signing a peace deal with the Taliban.
Pompeo’s prior words regarding the Taliban and Afghanistan are mashed up against what he is saying now in a video produced by MSNBC’s The Mehdi Hasan Show, exposing obvious contradictions.
“You were the first American secretary of state to ever meet with the Taliban and you talked about how they had agreed to join us in the fight against terrorism,” Wallace pointed out.
The Fox News host then showed footage of the former Secretary of State declaring in March 2020 that the Taliban had promised to “operate alongside us to destroy, deny resources to, and have [US-designated terrorist group] Al Qaeda depart from” Afghanistan.
Mike Pompeo is trying to rewrite history with Afghanistan. But don’t worry, we use the magic of TV to set the record straight. pic.twitter.com/sM5ZZ2REEE
— The Mehdi Hasan Show (@MehdiHasanShow) August 27, 2021
“Do you regret giving the Taliban that legitimacy? Do you regret pressing the Afghan government to release 5,000 prisoners? Which they did, some of whom are now back on the battlefield fighting with the Taliban,” Wallace asked Pompeo.
Pompeo defended his record as a member of Trump’s government. “You make peace with your enemies,” the former secretary of state remarked, adding that his March 2020 statement “was absolutely true” He claimed that Trump’s administration did “good work in crushing Al Qaeda.”