'Shameful': Dems Hit Trump for Firing of Intel IG Atkinson

Cheryl Sanders
April 5, 2020

Trump notified the Senate committee of his intention to fire Atkinson and remove him from his post as inspector general of US intelligence agencies, which will be effective 30 days from Friday, according to congressional officials and a copy of Trump's notification in a letter obtained by several media outlets.

The whistle-blower complaint handled by Atkinson, which was eventually released publicly, revealed that Trump had asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in a July phone call to investigate the Bidens.

"It is vital that I have the fullest confidence in the appointees serving as inspectors general, " he wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post. She said that while the president followed the correct procedures in notifying Congress of the firing, "I did not find his rationale for removing Inspector General Atkinson to be persuasive". "Absolutely bad. He took a whistleblower report that turned out to be a fake report, it was fake.he took a fake report and he brought it to Congress with an emergency.", Trump told reporters at the Coronavirus Task Force briefing at the White House.

Trump said he would announce a new inspector general - a position responsible for ferreting our waste, fraud and abuse within the nation's intelligence agencies - at a later date. "He's a total disgrace".

"It puts our country and national security at even greater risk", he said on Twitter.

Trump's action drew immediate condemnation from senior Democratic lawmakers and intelligence community veterans.

Trump is expected to appear at a White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.

But the acting Director of National Intelligence at the time, Joseph Maguire, said he did not believe it met the definition of 'urgent, ' and tried to withhold the complaint from Congress.

"Being fired for having the courage to speak truth to power makes him a patriot", he concluded.

"Congress has been crystal clear that written reasons must be given when IGs are removed for a lack of confidence", Grassley said. "And of course it sends a message throughout the federal government and in particular to other inspectors general that if they do their job as this professional did and Michael Atkinson was a complete professional, they too may be fired by a vindictive president".

Before joining the White House legal team in December 2018, Miller served as inspector general for the General Services Administration for almost a decade, which performs much of the administrative work for the federal government. "However, in order to be effective, the IG must be allowed to conduct his or her work independent of internal or external pressure".

Atkinson, a respected and understated lawyer who served for more than 15 years in the Justice Department, was informed Friday night that Trump meant to fire him and was placed on administrative leave immediately, according to USA officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) defended Atkinson.

Monheim is now the general counsel of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

The contents of the letter were first reported by POLITICO.

Other reports by iNewsToday