May 19, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON - Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) issued the following statement after the White House announced its intention to fire State Department Inspector General Steven Linick. Since the announcement on Friday night, reports say the IG's office was investigating the arms sales to Saudi Arabia, as well as Secretary Pompeo's alleged use of staff for personal errands.

"The job of an Inspector General is to hold public officials accountable by revealing the truth. Through investigations, IGs can clear individuals of wrongdoing if they have been accused of fraud, waste or abuse. Why, then, did Trump fire IG Linick following Secretary Pompeo's recommendation? We don't know for sure. But what we do know is there was no legitimate justification for emergency arms sales to Saudi Arabia last fall. That's why I wrote a letter with Senator Warren calling for an IG investigation into the suspicious sales. It was reported after his firing that IG Linick was looking into this matter.

"Any time an Inspector General is fired, we should be alarmed. In normal times, in a normal administration, a President would never fire an IG without an ironclad reason. The mere appearance of covering up wrongdoing and the likely political fallout would be enough to stop someone from firing an agency watchdog. But, for Trump, this is just another day that ends in Y. If Sec. Pompeo recommended this, we need to know why and we need to know what IG Linick was investigating. Other news stories have alleged the IG's office was investigating whether Sec. Pompeo had forced government staff to run personal errands for him. Investigations like the ones IG Linick was supposedly undertaking are essential tasks that evaluate whether our government officials are working efficiently, honestly and ethically. The act of firing an Inspector General sends the exact opposite message."