Shock waves hit Washington D.C. this week following the dismissal of State Department Inspector General Steve Linick. After President Donald Trump axed him late on Friday.
The New York Times reported:
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declined an interview request for the Department inspector general’s inquiry into whether Trump’s administration acted illegally by declaring an “emergency” to bypass a congressional freeze on arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Mr. Pompeo chose instead to answer written questions from investigators. That indicates that the secretary of state was aware of Mr. Linick’s investigation and the specific lines of questioning about Mr. Pompeo’s decision last year to resume the sales of bombs and other weapons, which had been stalled since 2017. Saudi Arabia has led Persian Gulf nations in an air war in Yemen that has resulted in large numbers of civilian deaths.
Pompeo had announced, “These sales will support our allies, enhance Middle East stability, and help these nations to deter and defend themselves from the Islamic Republic of Iran.” In May of last year he put a value on the sales at $8.1 billion.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY) expressed, “His [IG] office was investigating, at my request, Trump’s phony declaration of an emergency so that he could send weapons to Saudi Arabia.” Plus he added, “We don’t have the full picture yet, but it’s troubling that Secretary Pompeo wanted Mr. Linick pushed out before this work could be completed. The administration should comply with the probe I launched with Sen. Menendez and turn over all the records requested from the Department by Friday.”