Friday, May 15, 2020

What did Donald Trump do today?

He fired yet another oversight official.

Late this Friday night, Trump fired State Department Inspector General Steve Linick. He offered no explanation, but a member of Congress confirmed that Linick had opened an investigation into Mike Pompeo, Trump's Secretary of State.

Conducting such investigations is exactly what inspectors general are supposed to do.

Linick joins a host of other government officials fired or demoted for investigating Trump or his political allies. They include:

  • Health and Human Services Inspector General Christi Grimm, fired for releasing a report critical of that department's handling of the coronavirus pandemic
  • Glenn Fine, acting Defense Department Inspector General. Fine appears to have been fired pre-emptively so that he could not exercise oversight over how $2 trillion in pandemic relief was being spent by the Trump administration.
Trump also fired or demoted virtually everyone he could who investigated his ties to Russia during the 2016 campaign, or his attempts to get Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 election. That list includes everyone from former FBI director James Comey to the brother of one of the National Security Council officials who testified about the Ukraine scandal.

Why should I care about this?

  • Presidents are not above the law.
  • Presidents with nothing to hide don't need to keep firing investigators and replacing them with political loyalists.