WASHINGTON D.C – May 17, 2020 – [FRN] President Trump made another ObamaGate related move late Fridayn, and dismissed State Department Inspector General Steve A. Linick. Linick is a carry-over from the Obama administration who at the time played a minor role in last year’s impeachment drama and was sharply critical of those drawing attention to Hillary Clinton’s email.
The president’s decision was made clear in a letter to congressional leaders saying he no longer had the “fullest confidence” in Linick, who has served as the State Department’s chief watchdog since he was appointed by President Obama in 2013.
Trump’s confidence issue in Linick appears to stem from his work with Congressional Democrats a file containing Hunter Biden’s wrongdoings in Ukraine in relation to Burisma.
This comes on the heels of similar – Trump has fired a handful of federal agency watchdogs as he seeks to reshape the inspector general community with his own appointees.
Constitutionally, this is the right of a president, and it would appear that Trump had kept on-board any number of Obama-era appointees precisely to underscore the non-partisan nature of whole vectors of his administration. It would appear that Trump may have second thoughts about this now, given what has been revealed in the ObamaGate scandal, showing that Obama himself directed an illegal investigation into his then political opponent, Trump.
Officials said Ambassador Stephen Akard, a career diplomat who currently heads the State Department’s Office of Foreign Missions, has been named to replace Linick.
Linick drew brief headlines last October when he provided to Congress a folder of documents that Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, had given the department alleging possible wrongdoing in Ukraine. The episode was one of many cited by Democrats as they pursued impeachment against Trump.
Democrats have howled about several of Trump’s decisions to replace holdover Obama appointees in recent months. Friday’s move proved no different.
“Shameful. Another late Friday night attack on independence, accountability, and career officials. At this point, the President’s paralyzing fear of any oversight is undeniable,” Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., tweeted.