WASHINGTON – State Department overseers fired by President Trump last Friday have checked whether Secretary Mike Pompeo has ordered a staff member to carry out personal duties including guiding his dog, making dinner reservations and taking dry cleaning, a source familiar with the investigation told Fox News on Sunday.
However, Democrats on the Council on Foreign Affairs and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have requested, through public letters, a record of any open inspector general matters dealing with the Secretary’s Office. The State Department did not respond to requests for comment.
Trump dismissed Inspector General Steve Linick late Friday, writing in a letter to Congress that he no longer had confidence in the Department of State IG – who was appointed during the Obama administration and has overseen reports that have been critical of department policies since Trump took office. A State Department official told Fox News on Saturday that Pompeo had recommended Trump to fire Linick.
However, the move immediately provoked anger from Democrats, with House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., Suggesting Trump shoot Linick in retaliation.
“This shooting is an outrageous act of a president who is trying to protect one of his most loyal supporters, the secretary of state, from accountability,” Engel said in a statement earlier this week. “I have learned that the Office of the Inspector General has opened an investigation of the Secretary of Pompeo. The shooting of Mr. Linick in the middle of such an investigation strongly suggested that this was an unlawful retaliation. “
Employees suspected of being assigned Pompeo to carry out their duties are politically appointed people who serve as staff assistants, NBC News reported.
The transfer of Linick continued a series of changes among government inspectors general. Most notable was the dismissal of Trump Inspector General for the Intelligence Community Michael Atkinson in April because of his role in the complaints complaint that led the Ukraine investigation – and Trump’s subsequent impeachment.
Linick will be replaced by Stephen Akard, a former foreign service official who has close relations with Vice President Pence, a Trump administration official told The Associated Press.