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US Foreign Relations Committee Starts Probe Into Trump's Firing of State Dep't Inspector General

© AP Photo / J. Scott ApplewhiteState Department Inspector General Steve Linick
State Department Inspector General Steve Linick  - Sputnik International
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According to Politico, US President Donald Trump fired Steve Linick in a letter sent to Congress late on 15 May, saying he no longer had "fullest confidence" in the high-ranking official, who had been heading the oversight office of Washington’s diplomatic arm since his appointment in 2013 by President Barack Obama.

The US House Foreign Relations Committee has launched a probe into Trump's firing of the State Department inspector general, a statement from the panel said. The House Panel and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Democrats have asked the Trump administration to submit records related to the State Department inspector general's firing by 22 May, according to the statement.

Earlier today, US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi took aim at President Donald Trump for his dismissal of State Department Inspector General Steve Linick, calling the move a part of a "dangerous pattern of retaliation".

Linick’s firing, which has turned out to be the latest in a series of oversight removals by Trump, is considered as an attempt to suspend an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for allegedly using department aides for personal tasks, Politico reported.

According to the news outlet, Congressman Eliot L. Engel, who chairs the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, called Linick's dismissal an "outrageous act of a president trying to protect one of his most loyal supporters, the secretary of State, from accountability".

As acting head of the inspector general’s office, Trump proposed Stephen Akard, who currently heads the Office of Foreign Relations and was part of the Indiana governor’s administration under current Vice President Mike Pence.

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