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Congressman Scott Peters

Representing the 52nd District of California

Rep. Peters Slams Trump’s Dismissal of State Dept. IG As An Attempt To “Undermine Truth and Accountability”

May 20, 2020
Press Release

SAN DIEGO – Today, Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52) released the following statement regarding the President’s removal of State Department Inspector General Steve Linick, the latest in a streak of key dismissals of inspectors general by the Trump administration.

“Friday's late-night announcement ousting another oversight official is the latest in a pattern of deliberate actions taken by the President to undermine truth and accountability,” said Rep. Peters. “Just weeks ago, we saw a similar case with the firing of the Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson. The administration has yet to disclose valid arguments justifying either of the firings.”

Rep. Peters continued, “This brazen effort to discipline and dismiss individuals for exercising their oversight duty should set off alarm bells. Proper checks and balances are essential elements that allow for a healthy, functioning democracy. The President’s attempt to concentrate power by purging those appointed to prevent corruption is hugely corrosive to our nation and our system of government.

“I urge my colleagues in both chambers, on both sides of the aisle, to take a hard stand and protect the constitutional balance of power.”

Linick is responsible for overseeing the conduct of the State Department and of the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The President notified the House and Senate Intelligence committees of Linick’s termination Friday night, and has tapped Ambassador Stephen Akard to lead the Office of the Inspector General at the State Department in an acting capacity. Before joining the Trump Administration as the Director of the Office of Foreign Missions, Akard was chief of staff for the Indiana Economic Development Corporation under then-governor, Vice President Mike Pence.