Trump fires state department military officer Steve Linick

Donald Trump said Mr Linick not had his full confidence which he would be removed in 30 days.

Mr Linick had begun investigating Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for suspected abuse of office, reports say.

Democrats say Mr Trump is retaliating against public servants who want to carry his administration to account.
“It is significant that I even have the fullest confidence within the appointees serving as inspectors general. that’s not the case with reference to this military officer ,” Mr Trump is quoted as saying during a letter sent late on Friday to deal with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, US media report.

Not long after Mr Linick’s dismissal was announced, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said Mr Linick had opened an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“This firing is that the outrageous act of a president trying to guard one among his most loyal supporters, the secretary of state, from accountability,” Eliot Engel, a Democrat, said during a statement.

“I have learned that the Office of the military officer had opened an investigation into Secretary Pompeo. Mr Linick’s firing amid such a search strongly suggests that this is often an unlawful act of retaliation.”

Mr Engel didn’t provide any longer details about the content of this investigation into Mr Pompeo.

Congressional aides, speaking on condition of anonymity, are quoted in several media as saying that Mr Linick was examining complaints that Mr Pompeo may have improperly used staff and asked them to perform personal tasks.

Mr Linick, a former prosecutor, was appointed by Mr Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, to oversee spending and detect mismanagement at the state department.

Democrats are reacting to the move. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Mr Linick was “punished for honourably performing his duty to guard the constitution and our national security”.

“The president must cease his pattern of reprisal and retaliation against the general public servants who are working to stay Americans safe, particularly during this point of worldwide emergency,” she added during a statement.

Senator Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, said the Senate Foreign Relations Committee needed to find out more about the dismissal.

This is the newest during a series of dismissals of independent government watchdogs.

Mr Atkinson first alerted Congress to a whistleblower complaint that led to Mr Trump’s impeachment trial.

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