Donald Trump

Trump Is Gutting the Inspector General System, and Most Republicans Don't Care

Congress created inspectors general to be watchdogs, but it's too weak-willed to protect those watchdogs from retaliation.

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The Trump administration's dismantling of independent federal watchdogs continued late last Friday, as Trump removed State Department Inspector General Steve Linick, who was reportedly conducting at least two misconduct probes into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Politico also reported today that Linick had recently finished an investigation into a Pompeo aide and concluded she had likely failed to report allegations of workplace violence.

On Friday night Trump also replaced the acting inspector general at the Department of Transportation, who was investigating Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao—the wife of Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R–Ky.)—for alleged favoritism in awarding contracts.

Friday's moves follow a string of dismissals that congressional Democrats and government accountability groups say is a purge of the inspectors general system by the Trump administration. The president has then filled those watchdog positions with political allies.

"The president is essentially driving a semi-truck through the fundamental structure of inspectors general," says Liz Hempowicz, director of public policy at the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), a government accountability group.

In April, Trump fired Michael Atkinson, the inspector general of the intelligence community. Atkinson's referral of a whistleblower complaint to Congress launched the Ukraine investigation and eventual impeachment of Trump, and the firing was widely seen as retaliation.

Trump also replaced Pentagon Inspector General Glenn Fine, who was supposed to oversee the $2 trillion coronavirus aid package passed by Congress.

Inspectors general are independent offices that investigate waste, fraud, and abuse at federal agencies. They regularly audit agencies' compliance with mundane rules and record-keeping, as well as investigate whistleblower complaints about misconduct.

Their investigative powers give them access to records and officials that the public and reporters don't have, and as such, they fill an important role as watchdogs within the federal government. (Take, for just one example, a 2015 Justice Department Inspector General investigation that found that Drug Enforcement Administration agents assigned to South America were having sex parties with prostitutes hired by drug cartels.)

To do their job, inspectors general are supposed to be insulated from political pressure. They don't report to agency heads, and although they're appointed and can be fired by the president, the president must give Congress 30 days' notice before any firing, along with reasons for the removal. (Trump subverted even this modest requirement in Atkinson's case by placing him on immediate leave.)

"If you go through the legislative history of the Inspector General Act of 1978, it's abundantly clear that Congress never intended for inspectors general to be treated the same way as other political appointees, because their jobs are so incredibly different," Hempowicz says. "The main difference is IGs are supposed to do their job independent of politics."

But the Trump administration, despite the president's pledge to "drain the swamp," is hostile to any oversight and has no use for inspectors general except as toadies and rubber stamps. Trump said he fired Linick at the request of Pompeo, but so far the administration has not given any detailed explanation, except that the president "lost confidence" in him.

And congressional Republicans, once champions of oversight and accountability during President Barack Obama's administration, have become mute or blasé on the subject.

Speaking about Linick's firing, Sen. Ron Johnson (R–Wis.) told CNN's Jake Tapper over the weekend that, "I'm not crying big crocodile tears over this termination. Let's put it that way."

Although the Obama administration declared itself "the most transparent administration in history," it occasionally clashed with inspectors general as well. There was the time Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) employees obstructed an investigation into an EPA senior official who bilked the agency out of $900,000 by pretending to be a CIA agent, for example.

The most significant move by the Obama administration came in 2015, when the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) issued an opinion that the inspector general must ask the Justice Department for access to sensitive information like grand jury records, wiretaps, and credit reports.

Here's Johnson speaking at a 2015 congressional hearing on inspectors general, presumably crying crocodile tears: 

"It's just incredibly important to have permanent inspectors general that are completely independent that will provide Congress and the American public transparency and that watchdog assignment—that responsibility for departments and agencies—so that we have awareness of what's happening. It's the only way we're going to be able to improve the efficiency, the effectiveness, the accountability of government is to have that type of transparency."

The conservative Heritage Foundation released a 2015 report on the OLC opinion that concluded it "undermines the IG's ability to conduct his investigatory duties, which costs taxpayers time, money, and trust in their government."

"If the Inspector General deems a document necessary to do his job, then the agency should turn it over immediately," Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said. "The prospect of the Obama administration using this opinion to stonewall oversight, avoid accountability, and undermine the independence of inspectors general is alarming."

To his credit, Grassley is one of the few Republicans—along with Sen. Mitt Romney (R–Utah) and Sen. Susan Collins (R–Maine)—who has voiced concern over Trump's firing of Linick. In a letter to Trump Monday, Grassley wrote inspectors general "should be free from partisan political interference, from either the Executive or Legislative branch" and asked Trump to "provide a detailed reasoning" for Linick's removal by June 1. Grassley sent a similar letter after Atkinson's firing, but he is still waiting on a response.

Grassley is in a rather lonely spot right now, though. If Congress wants to maintain any vestige of respectability—or even any indication that it's still a functioning branch of government rather than the executive's doormat—it needs to reassert its power to protect independent inspectors general, regardless of which political party holds the White House.

NEXT: Americans Have Rediscovered Self-Reliance

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  1. Trump and company have been digging holes they will likely never escape. Keep digging.

    1. lmao.

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    2. The holes are for the bodies of the deep state coup plotters – – – – – –

    3. Would you say…. the walls are closing in?

    4. The dems keep looking into the holes and walk away disappointed.

    5. You have 4 sockpuppets in this thread alone.

      1. Jeff gets fifty-cents per thread ruined.

  2. “independent federal watchdogs”
    They can’t be that independent if they can be fired by the ones they are supposedly watching

    1. Like most in government, the employees are registered Democrats. My wife worked in county government as a public health nurse, and you could tell the non-Democrats by their utter silence. They were about 10% of the workers. Why should the IG be different? It is a belief that the thing is the same as the title, but like the UNCHR it may be the opposite.
      Jury is out.

      1. Ukraine is now charging Biden with criminal charges and they have released the original phone call where Biden threatened Ukraine with withholding funding if they did not fire their prosecutor.

        The inspector general ignored that but overheard a second hand report that Trump might want investigation into Biden who had already said this in a frigging interview.

        Not every inspector general is independent of political motivation, this idiot surely wasn’t.

    2. See, there’s your problem: The IGs aren’t there to watch over the President, they’re there to watch over the agencies FOR the President.

  3. “Atkinson’s referral of a whistleblower complaint to Congress launched the Ukraine investigation and eventual impeachment of Trump, and the firing was widely seen as retaliation.”

    OR

    Atkinson, in defiance of professional intelligence officers opinions, falsely labeled a deep state leaker as a whistleblower in a vain attempt to provide the leaker cover. For this brazen partisan act, he was properly dismissed.

    1. Also.

      Atkinson in violation of law forwarded to Congress a report of a whistleblower against the president when the act controlling his offers solely gave him investigatory determinations over those members who fall under the IC agency, not the president.

  4. If your watchdog bites you in the ass, and takes treats from a home invader, you get a new dog.

    1. Trumpistas like you have a penchant for using analogies that are the complete opposite of the situation they’re trying to define. You take thst from the ignorant in chief.

      Inspector generals are auditors, not guard dogs, you Trumpista garbage.

      1. Why so many socks today ABC?

      2. right but you said you eat shit SQLSRY

      3. He said watchdog. The subtitle says watchdog. You should consider paying attention.

      4. Wait, did you just make fun of someone’s position as being ignorant and then misquote them in the same statement? That’s impressive irony.

    2. Fat arrogant Pompeo was being investigated and claims he didn’t know, just happened to tell Trump to fire the guy investigating him? Of course Trump will oblige, he loves firing people, that is his only talent, YOU’RE FIRED!!. He thinks he’s still running a reality show. One of the lowest, demeaning things you can do to one of your employees is to make them to walk your dog. Trump the Chump rationalizes it with maybe Pompeo was on an important call with North Korea. So while on this important call, he has time to instruct one of his aides to take the dog for a walk? If are on an important call with a diplomat of another country, you don’t put the guy on hold to tell your aide to go walk the dog. Trump knows there are a lot of gullible fools out there. Lincoln was wrong, you can fool most of the people most of the time. Trump’s continued popularity proves the US educational system is one of the worst in the world.

  5. Trumpistas (mostly credulous white supremacists who believe in the power of penile extension pills, one would conclude, as they voted in a dishonest snakeoil salesman into office who sells miracle cures in front of journalists) don’t care that their guy is acting like a Dick-tater (a potato-shaped authoritarian) because he promised them protection from the mean brown people. What would you expect?

    1. No one is giving your cousin a green card. Get over it.

      1. Hey, ignorant imbecile who doesn’t know your own laws: you can’t sponsor a cousin, only immediate family. The fact that for some of you mouthbreathing hicks a cousin is immediate family by marriage or convenience doesn’t mean everyone else is an inbred Trumpista human reject.

        Get over it. You were lied to, you Trumpista piece of garbage.

        1. I know you can’t sponsor your cousin. That and the fact that he is probably a felon is why he can’t get a Green Card.

          If you thought you could sponsor your cousin, I would have not made a joke about him not getting one you half wit.

          I can only dumb down the jokes so much. You got raise your game here Mexican.

        2. Welcome back, Father.

        3. I literally don’t understand how anybody could oppose open borders. It’s like, how can you not want millions more brown bodies like Old Mexican entering this country every year?

          #DiversityAboveAll

        4. Your Mom doesn’t get a green card either, no matter how many gringos she blows.

    2. “” don’t care that their guy is acting like a Dick-tater””

      The citizens of NYC also don’t care that their Mayor, and Gov is acting as such.

    3. If Trump wanted to be a dictator, he would have taken the power the Dems were trying to throw at him. Instead he resisted and said its up to each state to decide their Covid-19 policy, not the President’s. He doesn’t seem like a very ambitious “dictator”.

      1. Hey look it’s the aspie idiot who was wrong about 230 and couldn’t answer a basic question because he knew he was wrong.

      2. I know Dyzalot and you’re not him.

    4. Trumpistas

      Oh good. I was running low on ‘Clinton Lost’ tears. At this point, you’re giving bitter clingers of the God and Guns variety a good name.

  6. Obama fired every holdover inspector general from the previous administration. He was the first President ever to do that. As far as I can tell using the search engine, reason didn’t say a single word about it. So, Reason’s sudden concern about the integrity of the IG system is a bit suspicious to say the least.

    Trump fired two IGs and objected to a single investigation conducted by another. And reason thinks that warrents an entire story about how Trump is underminind the system. Obama fired every one who wasn’t a Democrat and that was just fine by reason.

    The most significant move by the Obama administration came in 2015, when the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) issued an opinion that the inspector general must ask the Justice Department for access to sensitive information like grand jury records, wiretaps, and credit reports.

    It should also be noted that Obama had that opinion rescinded right before he left office but after the election. Oversight is something that happens to Republicans not Obama. And Reason seems to agree.

    1. “So, Reason’s sudden concern about the integrity of the IG system is a bit suspicious to say the least.”

      Not suspicious, fallout from Twitter outrage.

      1. God forbid they ever not follow the Twitter herd and think for themselves.

    2. Obama fired every holdover inspector general from the previous administration.

      This just isn’t true. The Obama-era IRS inspector general (the one whose report concluded the IRS illegally targeted Tea Party groups) has been working in that capacity since 2004. He’s still there.

      Reason’s sudden concern about the integrity of the IG system is a bit suspicious to say the least.

      Well, it didn’t take long to find this Suderman piece about the Obama administration covering up a DHS IG report: https://reason.com/2014/10/09/obama-administration-officials-knew-abou/

      1. That is true, he did not fire all of them. Fair point.

        And the Suderman article is just complaining about that one thing. Nowhere does it say Obama is undercutting the IG system, just that they covered up that one thing.

        So my point still stands. And Reason never once that I can find said anything about the OLC opinion which really did gut the IG system until today long after Obama reversed the opinion when he left office.

        1. Fuck it….fire them all and replace them.

        2. “That is true, he did not fire all of them. Fair point.”

          So your original comment is a lie, is that correct?

          1. I think he had the IGs and the AGs confused.

      2. “””We were directed at the time .?.?. to delay the report of the investigation until after the 2012 election,” David Nieland, the lead investigator on the Colombia case for the DHS inspector general’s office, told Senate staffers, according to three people with knowledge of his statement.””

        No, the previous admin would not hold anything until after an election.

      3. why do you constantly bust out sockpuppets just to stan for Reason?

    3. Old Mexican, care to comment? (Beyond calling John a Trumpista.)

      1. He’s busy eating his own shit.

  7. //In April, Trump fired Michael Atkinson, the inspector general of the intelligence community. Atkinson’s referral of a whistleblower complaint to Congress launched the Ukraine investigation and eventual impeachment of Trump, and the firing was widely seen as retaliation.//

    Seriously? This is the example you use? Bother to list the ways in which Atkinson was a dishonest piece of shit?

    //Trump said he fired Linick at the request of Pompeo, but so far the administration has not given any detailed explanation, except that the president “lost confidence” in him.//

    Linkick was “investigating” Pompeo because he was making interns fetch him coffee, or some other bullshit, to cover up his own participation in the bogus Ukraine impeachment.

    Trump firing corrupt IG’s that are working the #resistance to undermine the administration is a problem? GTFO.

      1. <Dishonest fucking hacks.

        That’s a good description of The Federalist, I agree

        1. Vox is your bread and butter?

        2. So you have nothing to say to rebut what the Federalist is saying and just resort to a pathetic and obvious ad hominem.

          Next time, why don’t you just say “I don’t like this but have no argument to make against it”. It would at least be honest and it wouldn’t be any less persuasive that what you did.

          1. Of course not.

            The Russia/Ukraine scandal is an article of faith, at this point. Imagine dedicating three years of your life, along with the attendant emotional investment, sweating feverishly in front of your television while Rachel Maddow and Adam Schiff promised to deliver Drumpf’s evil head on a platter only to learn it was bullshit all along.

            Fuck.

            That has to destroy your every morsel of one’s sense of self. So many broken Russia truthers around here.

      2. Geraje Guzba : Dishonest fucking hacks.

        You, I presume, looking into a multi-faceted mirror. Really, do you take your own bullshit seriously? Your Federalist link starts off by listing the complaint :

        ……alleged Trump was “using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.”

        Then follows paragraph after paragraph of spittle-spraying spleen, all to obscure the fact that complaint was completely correct. It exactly described what Trump did : He tried to extort collusion from a foreign country to aid his reelection campaign. He attempted to trade the foreign policy of the United States government for his private benefit alone. He sought to use his private attorney and a couple of low-grade crooks as cut-out men to collect a payoff from Ukraine. It neither began or ended with the phone call; the same corrupt behavior had been going on for months beforehand. Remember : Weeks before the call John Bolton stormed out of a meeting with Ukrainian officials saying, “I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up,”

        That “drug deal” was the favor of the U.S. government traded for Trump’s personal benefit.

        An ethically-minded person, Geraje Guzba, would object to that. But a Trump-cult bootlicker rages against the person who exposed it instead. No wonder you stare at your reflections and say, “Dishonest fucking hacks”

        1. “”He tried to extort collusion from a foreign country to aid his reelection campaign.””

          Their you go with the term “extort” again. No one was extorted.

        2. hey remember when you made a fool of yourself on impeachment and then lost bigly?

        3. //He tried to extort collusion from a foreign country to aid his reelection campaign.//

          Still humping that Russia fever, eh? Ridiculous. You idiots will go to grave believing this dumb shit. Hopefully, sooner rather than later.

          1. Geraje Guzba : Still humping that Russia fever, eh?

            Funny you mention that. Consider the timing : The commonly accepted end of Mueller’s investigation was 24 July 2019, when he testified to Congress there was insufficient evidence to charge the Trump campaign over collusion with a foreign government to aid his election campaign.

            The very next day, 25 July, Trump tried to extort collusion with a foreign government to aid his election campaign.

            But – hey – that’s the criminal’s mind in action : Walking out the courthouse having beat a rap and he’s already starting a new scam the very next minute. Just the pitfall of having a conman huckster as president

            (or cult-idol, for his unfortunate bootlicker zealots)

            1. So the answer is “yes.”

            2. Also, contrails.

            3. While Biden did extort the very same country.

              And trump didnt actually offer anything. So what extortion are you implying?

              1. JesseAz,

                Your lying is so clumsy, I wonder you bother. Two points., screamingly obvious :

                (1) Sure, Biden “extorted” action from Ukraine. Countries do that to one another all the time. But its kinda strange how you left out the part “for personal gain”. Now, I could run through the long conclusive proof that Biden’s actions followed policy objectives of the United States government and its allies. And I could run through the long conclusive proof that Trump’s actions were for his personal gain, and fronted by a sleazy private lawyer and two petty crook henchmen. By why bother? I know you’re full of shit and you do too. Pick a better class of person to be your cult idol and you won’t have to be full of shit so often….

                (2) Trump didnt actually offer anything? God, you’re such a pathetic liar! DJT tried to force Ukraine to make a campaign commercial for his reelection committee with a big televised announce of this faux “investigation”. At one point the Ukrainians were told their president had to commit to a public announcement in writing. The extortion tools used included (a) An endorsement of one candidate in the election that brought Ukraine’s current president into office (the other guy), (b) What level official would attend the Ukrainian inauguration, (c) A high profile summit between the two presidents, and (d) Military aid.

                All these these were offered/withheld as the price for Ukraine’s collusion in Trump’s election campaign.

                (You shouldn’t lie so much Jesse. It’s not healthy)

                1. 1) Joe Biden has now officially been named in the investigation into the firing of the prosecutor by courts in the Ukraine. So yes the courts in Ukraine believe it was for personal gain on Joe’s part.

                  2) no, the person who told them that they had to announce the investigation testified that Trump never ordered that, and the same with all your other charges. The under oath testimony revealed that Trump ordered none of those, and that the people testifying believed that is what Trump wanted. Again no evidence. So, someone is lying but it isn’t Jesse.

        4. So…. missed the leaked audio of Biden?

          1. COOOKED UP BY AN EX KGB STOOOOGE YOUR TRUMPIST COCKSUCKER!!

            1. They did find their angle lol. Doesnt change what was said on the recording.

              1. ALL EDITED!

        5. Damn, grb schools the fuck out of you baby fascists.

          1. Lol

            You really do hate reality

  8. The DOS IG who Trump fired told DOS employees that they were under no obligation to follow the policies of the President and should act however they see fit.

    Why would a President ever want to fire a guy like that?

  9. CJ,
    Are you related to Eric?

    1. Eric should be gutted like a fucking fish in front of the reflecting pool…

      1. The feds aren’t bringing their best.

  10. It has been gutted for nearly 30 years.

    “In 2014, 47 of the nation’s 73 inspectors general signed a letter alleging that Obama had stonewalled their “ability to conduct our work thoroughly, independently, and in a timely manner.””

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/06/obama-administration-stonewalled-inspectors-general/

    And we remember all the fallout received from Fast and Furious, the IRS issues, etc. Nothing. The IGs are toothless entities that have no actual power. They are Executive Branch members who report to Congress. They are nothing but political entities. They can’t effect change, only politicize political questions.

    1. An IG actually found out the IC, under Obama, was hacking into Congressional computers and accounts… and what happened? Nothing.

      https://reason.com/2014/08/07/the-intelligence-communitys-secrets-and/

      1. What’s Congress going to do? Those IC guys can screw you six ways to Sunday.

    2. The IGs currently fired are Obama hold overs that ran rampant campaigns to try to leak and perturb the functioning government of his predecessor. We saw this with the Ciaramella Whistleblower issue. We’ve seen it from State.

      The IG’s office has become a political weapon. It’s useless. End it.

    3. Obama didn’t even bother having a State Dept IG during Hillary’s tenure.

      https://www.wsj.com/articles/state-department-lacked-top-watchdog-during-hillary-clinton-tenure-1427239813

      What is the actual concern here?

    4. And finally…

      for those who can get past the politics. A discussion on the benefits/issues with modern day Inspectors.

      https://fcw.com/articles/2017/07/19/pointcounterpoint-igs-balutis-upson.aspx

    5. This is a critical point. People pretend that IG’s are some sort of internal, independent police force rather than accepting the fact that they are ministerial pawns, at best, subject to all of the same political whims and biases as anybody else.

      No bureaucrat is ever going to be a sufficient substitute for a Congress that actually takes seriously its oversight responsibilities. And, since we do not have such a Congress, all we have is a revolving door of partisan hacks taking potshots at one another. It is exactly the problem you identified – further politicization of political questions.

      1. IG’s have no authority. All they do is issue recommendations and findings of fact. The powers that be are in no way bound by those findings or recommendations. They can and usually do wipe their asses with them.

        Only someone who knows absolutely nothing about how the government actually works could think that IGs serve as any kind of watch dog over the executive. At best they will occasionally bring embarrassing facts to light, but that only matters if they get into the media.

    6. Obama’s admin didn’t need an IG. His admin was scandal free. We knew this on his inauguration day. Trump gets his orders directly from the Kremlin. Without an IG, who’s to stop Putin from marching into the white house, putting his feet up on the oval office desk and issuing edicts shirtless with a stogie in his mouth?

      1. That image excites you, doesn’t it, TRAITOR!

  11. Given the fact that waste fraud and abuse of power is rampant through out the bureaucracy as a result of years of neglect by the Obama admin I don’t believe these IGs were doing a credible job. They should be replaced.

  12. That King Rat Trump, a lifelong specialist in corrupt cronyism and fraud, fears independent oversight is no surprise.

    Trading DC swamp rats for NYC sewer rats has gotten us only even more septic rats.

    1. It is not like these IGs were partisan and using their offices against him or anything. Nope, it is all just oversight.

      Jesus Christ how much glue did you sniff as a child?

      1. All of it. All the glue.

      2. Look, working with Schiff to create back-channel setup for an invented impeachment excuse is no evidence that he was acting in any way that could be described as partisan.

        How was he to know that Schiff had spent the last couple of years lying to the American people about what his committee was finding and covering up the testimony of Obama Administration officials that would have put an end to the whole thing.

        1. ” lying to the American people about what his committee was finding and covering up the testimony of Obama Administration officials that would have put an end to the whole thing.”

          Amazing that Reason has not seen fit to mention anything about all the recently declassified testimony, the absolute collapse of the collusion narrative, or the growing obviousness of Obama’s direct involvement in the serial abuse of Intelligence and the DOJ in order to spy on and harass the incoming administration.

          They are oh so concerned about a politicized (but otherwise powerless) IG system, yet cant muster two shits about the spies or the top of the Federal justice system.

          Yeah, sure. Pull my finger.

          1. I mean, why should Reason be concerned about such things?
            It’s not like there’s a federal judge assuming prosecutorial power because he doesn’t like that the DOJ won’t follow through on their framing of an innocent man…

  13. You had me at “Trump is Gutting”…

  14. OMG…OMG…OMG…OMG…OMG…OMG…OMG…!!!!!

    Not Steve Linick…????? He was my favorite IG…..I have his poster on my wall…..!!!! I’m the president of his fan club…Damn It !!!!!
    (sigh)
    I told him not to wear that…”I HATE TRUMP” t-shirt to work…..

    1. Linick’s Bowman Chrome rookie card is trending.

      1. I was hoping Linick’s card would be included in that “IGs Trump Has Fired” collector set…..

  15. That’s because they’re fascists. They like to think you’re overreacting but when they do it day in, day out, yeah- that’s what you are. They’d lose their minds if Dems did it but “hey, my guy? That’s fine.”

    1. Dems did do it.

    2. “They’d lose their minds if Dems did it”

      And by the way Tony, you really need to stop making this the central tenet of your beliefs and actions, it’s pathetic.

    3. They’d lose their minds if Dems did it

      Oh wow, seriously? Your herd leaders have indeed been doing it for years, but you probably actually knew that, you dishonest fuck.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_Walpin#Removal_and_lawsuit

    4. Shorter “theyd lose their minds if they paid attention to politics before 2016.”

  16. AHAHHA look how upset the person running all the Demsucker sockpuppets is about this!!!

  17. Question (serious one): Did he fire these IGs and not replace them or did he fire them and replace them with someone else?
    Oh, and why was the Pentagon IG in charge of overseeing COVID-19 funds? Maybe that is the way the law was written but it doesn’t make much sense. Shouldn’t he be more concerned with all the hundreds of billions of dollars that have gone missing in the GWOT?

    1. Oh and maybe getting a handle on the every day waste and fraud that goes on in the DoD. He could just ask your average soldier if he needs a direction where to look.

      1. Inspectors, investigators and auditors have been revealing vast waste and apparently corruption at the pentagon for as long as I can remember. The bi partisan response has always been, well they don’t seem to know what they did with the money we gave them so they obviously need more money.

        1. Yeah, because most of the waste and fraud benefits Congress critters. The R&D scam is one of the worse poorly kept grifts. Funnel money into endless research programs. Delay programs that are ready to be fielded. Create massive overrun costs. Create new requirements to keep research programs going (see F-35, Zumwalt destroyers, any attempt to replace the M-16/M-4 series rifles etc).

      2. Do you think they’re trying to solve problems on behalf of taxpayers or score political points, huh?

        Come on man, try to keep up.

  18. Because libertarians LOVE themselves some big-government regulators …

  19. Bottom Line: The POTUS gets to pick his team. He should fire all the Obama appointees today.

    Elections have consequences.

    1. This would be a good time for the Greta Thunberg parody account to jump in with a “How dare you?”

      1. LMAO

  20. “The Trump administration’s dismantling of independent federal watchdogs continued late last Friday”

    Ciaramella conveniently neglects to mention that Obama set precedent for this in his IG firings, and they were far more brutal and partisan than Trump’s.

    The rationale given for Inspector General Gerald Walpin’s firing was particularly vicious. Obama officials accused Walpin, who passed away in 2016, of senility, stating the former I.G. was “confused” and “disoriented” at a meeting the month prior to his firing.

    “Why is Ciaramella making this seem like an issue unique to Trump?” is my question. He didn’t seem to have an issue with it under the previous president.

    1. Too true.

      Trump is Obama’s third term.

      1. LOL

        Obama never put kids in cages.

  21. fewer. government. employees.

  22. The problem with these inspector generals, is that they are not impartial and operate as part of “the resistance”.

    To clarify, illegal activities were everywhere during the Obama terms and the inspector generals were generally silent because they were politically allied with the administration.

    Now comes the Trump Administration, and the inspector generals are actively shopping for things they can use. Including brand new interpretations of the rules to allow hearsay to be used as the basis for a complaint.

    It is pretty tough to get me upset about dismantling a system that does not do what it was intended to do. Ciaramella is clearly upset not because the system worked well and is being broken, but because it was a useful partisan weapon and is being neutralized. Tough Shit.

    1. Look, when the feds were letting a bunch of illegal weapons get shipped to Mexico… wait.. not that one..

      Oh, when the IRS was targeting conservative groups, the Inspector General…. well… Ok, they didn’t do anything. But if all those hard drives hadn’t crashed, they totally would have issued a sternly worded memo.

      But they are totally on top of it. When the NSA database was being opened up to DNC associated “research” consultants, they watchdogged the hell out of… oh, wait. No they didn’t. That went on for years. And when someone with integrity shut that back door, the next day operation crossfire hurricane was born.

      So yeah…. keep on whining about Trump being the one who’s destroying the IG system.

  23. Has a IG ever held Government officials accountable for their misconduct?
    ATF Fast and Furious
    IRS targeting of tea party groups
    Ted Stevens

  24. In the last 50 years how many times have inspector generals done anything to reveal corruption??

    Democrat Inspectors seem only willing to investigate Republicans for some reason, so it is best if Trump fires them and appoints people who are less biased.

    All that is going on is that partisan Democrats are being fired by partisan Republicans, just like what the Democrats do when they are in charge, except the media remains silent for the Democrats.

    When inspector generals start holding federal employees accountable for the massive corruption that goes, on I will be more concerned about the fate of Inspector generals.

  25. I suspect a lot of this apathy by Republican is spill over from the CIA, the FBI, et. al. being exposed as so political in their investigations of President Trump both before and after the election of 2016.

    Who will watch the watchers, the press?! They’re almost as politicized as the FBI. Watchdogs these days are just coming across as another opportunity for partisans within the system to lash out against populists.

    In that kind of environment, it shouldn’t be surprising to see that Republicans are apathetic or even hostile to inspectors, watchdogs, and whistle blowers. Call wolf often enough, and, yeah, the townspeople will stop running to see what happened.

    1. Yeah, but this time! This time…. they’ve got him dead to rights! This is the nail in the coffin!

    2. I don’t think it’s apathy, as such. Rather, Republicans understand that some of the IGs are actually political actors, hold-overs from the previous administration trying to undermine the present one. And actively approve of getting rid of them.

    3. “Who will watch the watchers, the press?! They’re almost as politicized as the FBI.”

      Nice.

      And yes, I think he includes you, Ciaramella.

  26. Gee, another liberal slanted article implying Trump has done something wrong. No evidence of course but since when did a “journalist” need any? So what about Sally Yates telling the IG he could not access documents he wanted? Do you really think Holder allowed the IG to review Fast and Furious documents? The left is famous for accusing others of wrongs they are actually committing. The most transparent administration in history sure wasn’t Obama’s.

    The author claims Trump fired an IG because of the impeachment. He’s probably correct. But not because of the impeachment itself. Rather because he changed the form to allow hearsay to be considered as evidence. Up until about five minutes before the Ukraine call was released, whistleblowers were required to have first-hand knowledge of the misdeeds they reported. Such evidence wouldn’t be allowed in a criminal trial. So Trump is evil for wanting the rule of law, a basic and fundamental fairness to prevail. Democrats are outraged by this. Hpw pathetic they either can’t see it or just fon’t care.

  27. Wait, Trump is gutting the IG system?

    I thought Trump was politicizing the IG system. Over-using the IG system to investigate systemic abuses by his predecessors…

    Can’t we get our anti-Trump story straight?

    It certainly looks like the political opponents of the President have decided that the IG system is a weapon to be used in the congress and with a compliant and cooperative media. They even had a “whistleblower” who’s blockbuster story was “they didn’t take my recommendations!!”. That’s a whistleblower?

    Nancy from accounts payable didn’t get her suggestion on switching to Bunn from Kurig either… but you don’t see her filing a whistleblower complaint.

  28. So you actually want to give the permanent government, the deep state, the unaccountable witch hunters less oversight?

  29. Neither do his socalled libertarian supporters here on Reason

  30. Trump’s big mistake was not booting every Obama appointee he could the day after his inauguration.

  31. This is one more thing the Republicans have given up on along with free trade, diplomacy, reducing deficient, and now government over site. The Republican platform of 2020 can be a simple as one phrase, “Subservience to Trump”.

  32. Independent and insulated from political pressure…that’s fucking rich. Why are big L Libertarians always swallowing the D narrative on every single issue? I get that you don’t like Trump, but since when are libertarians advocating for more government?

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  34. Deus mio, all the proggie cocksuckers and their socks have turned out for this one. You guys must really be panicking about Biden’s new leaked phonecalls and his buddies getting subpoened, huh?

  35. Isn’t it the American people’s job to hold government officials accountable?

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