Sen. Chuck Grassley became the first Republican lawmaker to address Donald Trump‘s firing of a State Department Inspector General on Saturday. Grassley issued an official statement that Politico reporter Andrew Desiderio posted on Twitter, calling the rationale for firing Steve Linick “not sufficient.”
“Here again,” the statement began, “inspectors general are crucial in correcting the accountability that the American People deserve. Mr. Linick led the State Dept. IG’s office after the position had been intentionally left vacant for the first four years of the Obama administration.”
Grassley’s statement then went on to allege Linick failed to fully evaluate the role the State Department took in advancing the “debunked” Russian collusion investigation. The Republican then went on to say even if Linick did not do enough to show the investigation was debunked, it didn’t give the Trump administration enough reason to fire him.
Grassley’s statement closed by saying “a general lack of confidence simply is not sufficient detail to satisfy congress.”
The statement added that this wasn’t the first time Grassley has told Trump of the need for a written explanation to Congress for firings of this type. Desiderio also tweeted out that Grassley has still not received any explanation or response to a similar statement the senator made when the president fired a different inspector general last month.
The Iowa senator led a bipartisan group of lawmakers in a letter to Trump last month, asking for a detailed explanation as to why the president fired Inspector General Michael Atkinson. Desiderio reported that the letter was sent on April 13, over a month ago, and appears to have been ignored by the White House.
As The Inquisitr reported earlier on Saturday, Trump fired Linick shortly after the State Department opened an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The report further states Pompeo signed off on the firing.
Grassley’s statement comes just hours after congressional Democrats demanded President Trump turn over all documents in regards to Linick’s firings. They also said that if Pompeo had a hand in the decision to fire the inspector general, it could be seen as an illegal act of retaliation.
New York Rep. Eliot Engel and New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez both sent letters to the White House announcing an official investigation into why Linick was fired, according the Minnesota Star Tribune. Grassley has not called for an official investigation. The statement issued on Saturday did not ask for a response from Trump or Pompeo. It’s not clear if the Republican senator might take further steps to get answers on either firing.