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The State Department’s Inspector General became the latest overseer to be fired by Trump



U.S. State Department Inspector General Steve Linick departs the U.S. Capitol October 02, 2019 in Washington, DC. Linick reportedly met with congressional officials to brief them on information related to the impeachment inquiry centered around U.S. President Donald Trump.

“It is very important that I have full trust in the appointees acting as Inspector General. That is no longer a problem for this Inspector General,” Trump said in a letter sent Friday night to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The letter stated that the dismissal was effective in 30 days.

Friday’s announcement reflected the dismissal of former Inspector General of the Intelligence Community Michael Atkinson last month and came when Trump continued his attacks on the government’s internal surveillance. The president has repeatedly shown hostility to independent oversight from within the government, often targeting officials he sees as a legacy from President Barack Obama’s administration or part of the so-called “internal state,” which he believes is in harmony with him.

Linick, who was first appointed as inspector general by Obama, had a small role in the investigation of impeachment.

Linick gave personal guidance to bipartisan staff from eight DPR and Senate committees and gave them documents received by the State Department from Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. The documents include baseless accusations against Biden and former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. By doing this, he severed relations with the leadership of the State Department who vowed not to cooperate with the investigation.

READ: Trump announced that he would fire the State Department’s inspector general
A State Department spokesman confirmed Linick’s dismissal and said that Ambassador Stephen Akard, an ally of Vice President Mike Pence, would take on the role. Akard’s relationship with Pence, which originated from when he worked under the then Indiana Governor, Pence as the head of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, had previously placed former diplomats who saw him as part of the State Department’s politicization.

“On September 11, 2019, Ambassador Akard was confirmed by the Senate, 90-2, to lead the Department’s Foreign Mission Office and we look forward to him leading the Office of the Inspector General,” said a Foreign Ministry spokesman. Akard is a former career Foreign Service Officer who served as a special assistant in the Executive Secretariat, as a political official and general official at the Brussels Embassy, ​​and served as a consular officer at the US Consulate General in Mumbai.

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A senior State Department official confirmed that State Secretary Mike Pompeo made a recommendation for Linick to be transferred, but the official did not know the reason. The decision to choose Akard as his successor was made in consultation with his management team, but Pompeo finally made the decision, the official said.

“This is frightening and completely unexpected,” a State Department source close to Linick told CNN.

This source does not know anything that seems to trigger Trump’s general outrage with what he considers a deep state.

Another source said that senior staff at the State Department’s Inspector General’s office were blind. Akard had been named under a job vacancy to cut Linick’s deputy, Diana Shaw, who had just taken on a role this month after moving from the Inspector General’s office of the Department of Homeland Security. CBS first reported the role of Pompeo.

Linick began his work in September 2013. He was previously a prosecutor of the Department of Justice and worked as a high-ranking official of the Department of Justice fraud. He also served as the first Inspector General of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

At the State Department, Linick oversaw an investigation into the use of former State Secretary Hillary Clinton’s private email server. His May 2016 report on the investigation criticized Clinton, saying that the former secretary failed to follow the rules or inform key department staff about their use on private servers.

He is also a US assistant lawyer in California and Virginia. Linick served as executive director of the Justice Department’s National Procurement Fraud Task Force and deputy chief of fraud in the DOJ Criminal Division from 2006 to 2010.

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“During his tenure at the Department of Justice, he oversaw and participated in cases of white-collar fraud involving, inter alia, corruption and contract fraud against the US in Iraq and Afghanistan,” according to the State Department biography.

The dismissal immediately drew criticism from members of the Democratic Congress.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the “late-night, weekend dismissal” from Linick an “acceleration of the President’s dangerous pattern of retaliation against patriotic public servants accused of overseeing on behalf of the American people.”

Pelosi added that the shooting would “reverse the important work of the Office of the Inspector General to carry out critical audits, investigations and inspections of US embassies and programs around the world” during the coronavirus crisis.

Senator Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat who is a ranking member on the Foreign Relations Committee, called the shooting “embarrassing” in a tweet.

Trump has now fired several inspectors general after the Senate acquitted him of two articles of impeachment in early February, because of the country’s attention to fighting the corona virus. The president, CNN previously reported, had been fixated on cleaning up his government from government overseers who he saw as Obama’s loyalists.

In early April, Trump dismissed the intelligence community’s inspector general, Atkinson, who had told Congress about complaints that led to Trump’s impeachment.

Within a week, Trump removed the acting inspector general for the Department of Defense, Glenn Fine, from his post. Fine’s removal from top office made him no longer eligible to lead an accountability committee tasked with overseeing coronavirus emergency funds.

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Trump also openly attacked high-ranking officials in the office of the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services over reports of hospitals facing shortages.

Representative Gerry Connolly, a Democrat from Virginia, condemned a series of dismissals on Friday.

“IG shooting (fourth) is intended to intimidate and silence those who want to hold corruption accountable,” Connolly said on Twitter. “This is an attack on our democracy and should trouble all members of Congress. The Republican silence over this is negligence of duty.”

This is an extraordinary story and will be updated.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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