Senator Charles Grassley and a bipartisan group of lawmakers sent a letter calling on President Trump to explain his reasoning for firing Intelligence Community Inspector General (IC IG) Michael Atkinson.
Grassley, a longtime advocate for whistleblowers and government oversight, said President Trump did not provide sufficient reasons for the termination.
“Congressional intent is clear that an expression of lost confidence, without further explanation, is not sufficient to fulfill the requirements of the statute. This is in large part because Congress intended that inspectors general only be removed when there is clear evidence of wrongdoing or failure to perform the duties of the office, and not for reasons unrelated to their performance, to help preserve IG independence.”
The letter asks Trump to provide an explanation of the firing of the IC IG Atkinson no later than April 13, 2020, and to explain appointing an acting official before the end of the 30-day notice period is in line with statutory requirements.
Grassley alleged that the administration by-passed Congress’s “opportunity for an appropriate dialogue” “by placing the IG on 30 days of administrative leave and naming an acting replacement.”
Read the Senators’ letter to President Trump