Bipartisan Group of Senators Seek Information on Trump’s Decision to Remove Intel IG

Days after President Donald Trump announced that he was firing the Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, some senators what more information as to why the president fired him.

Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Gary Peters (D-Mich.),  Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) sent a letter to Trump on Wednesday seeking information on why he fired the inspector general. 

The senators note that laws regarding the intelligence community inspector generals require that the president lay out his reason for removing the official 30 days before doing so.

“However, in your recent letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee, you stated only that, ‘it is vital that [you] have the fullest confidence’ in those serving as IGs and that ‘this is no longer the case’ with regard to Mr. Atkinson,” the letter read.

It continued, “Further, according to public reports, Mr. Atkinson already was placed on administrative leave, effectively removing him from his position prior to the completion of the statutorily required notice period.”

The senators said that it is “not sufficient to fulfill the requirements of the statute” for Trump only to say that he lost confidence in Atkinson.

They explained, “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.”

Additionally, the senators argued that by reportedly placing Atkinson on leave and firing him before the dates laid out in the law, Trump “effectively removed that IG and appears to have circumvented Congress’s role in this process.”

The senators asked Trump to provide further information on why he decided to fire Atkinson by April 13.

“As supporters of the Inspector General community, and as advocates for government transparency and accountability, it is our responsibility to confirm that there are clear, substantial reasons for removal. To that end, we ask that you provide more detailed reasoning for the removal of Inspector General Atkinson no later than April 13, 2020.”

On Friday, Trump notified Congress that he would remove Atkinson from his position in 30 days.

He defended his decision during a press conference at the White House, saying, “He took a fake report, and he brought it to Congress.”

Atkinson was responsible for handling the whistleblower complaint that kicked off House Democrats’ impeachment probe of Trump last year.

The senators are not the only ones looking into Trump’s decision to fire Atkinson, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said he would investigate Atkinson’s removal, as IJR previously reported.

Responses

  1. The title said a “Bipartisan Group of Senators”, there wasn’t a republican in that group. Democrats and rinos only.

  2. After just reading the headlines I knew exactly who the so called bipartisan idiots was before even reading the article! RINO’S doesn’t count as ACTUAL Republicans!

  3. This is hardly bi-partisan. Collins and Romney are RINO’s and you might say caucus with the Democrats. They are Democrats in RED and nothing more. The President owes them no explanation about his hires or fires. They all work at his discretion.

      1. actually, boss soros probably told that to all the treasonous stool samples infesting the democRAT sewer.

    1. I’m 51 and frankly, with few exceptions, everyone elected to national office is a clown.

      If you think on it professional clowns should be insulted.

    2. Absolutely! Aren’t we all ecstatic that the Obama circus of “failure “ is a thing of the past!! Thank the Lord God above. Thanks for the reminder.

    3. We’ve got the biggest circus in the world here. Every day another debacle! I never knew how prejudice and hateful Republicans were until Trump was elected with the help from Communist Russia. We are becoming more like a dictatorship everyday. Anyone who Trump disagrees with is let go. All oversight over this government is replaced with a Trump buddy. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

      1. Make however many trips it takes for you to haul ass and waddle on back to your trailer park, hog. Don’t forget that box of moonpies and six pack of diet dr. pepper to guzzle while you watch your alternative family on Springer.

        1. I really don’t think she guzzles diet dr. pepper. Probably more like Hamms, Oly or Pabst Blue Ribbon, the cheapest beers on the market. Much more popular with trailer park trash donna has shown herself to be.

      2. You win FIRST prize in the mindless mynah bird contest. The fact that you STILL mention Russia shows your level of mental incompetence.

      3. WARNINGS from moron like you go unheeded and are not listened to, as they should be, chicken little.

      4. “Anyone who Trump disagrees with is let go. All oversight over this government is replaced with a Trump buddy. Don’t say you weren’t warned.” Donna

        We were warned about the dangers before King Donald The Loser got elected. Hopefully enough voters will finally figure this out before his next election and boot him out.

    4. We certainly learned that when we elected the treasonos assClown, oBozo!

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