Nancy Pelosi is speaking out against Donald Trump’s decision to fire Inspector General Steve Linick, saying it is typical of the White House to try dumping a controversial decision like that on a Friday night.
Pelosi appeared on CBS News’ Face the Nation on Sunday, saying that she did not know the reason for Linick’s firing, but found it in line with the White House to hide a decision like that at a time when few would be paying attention.
“Well, this is new to us and typical of the White House announcing something that is very unsavory,” she said. “They would do it late on a Friday night.”
The White House announced Linick’s firing on Friday night, a decision that was met with criticism amid reports that the inspector general had been investigating Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
As ABC News reported, Linick had been publicly critical of Trump’s handling of the State Department, especially in regard to the treatment of former staff and a hiring freeze that left a number of key positions open. The report added that Linick was investigating Pompeo at the time of his firing, and that Pompeo himself recommended to Trump that Linick be fired.
Pelosi added that the White House is obligated to show cause for a firing of this sort, but did not give an indication to Congress that Linick would be fired or offering a reason for it.
As Pelosi noted, a number of Republicans have objected to the firing, including many who have called on the White House to provide an explanation for Linick’s ouster. That included Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, who said in a statement that the White House is obligated to provide Congress with a written justification when an inspector general is fired.
“Inspectors general are crucial in correcting government failures and promoting the accountability that the American people deserve,” he said.
Trump has come under criticism for firings of other inspectors general, including one in charge of the intelligence community who first brought forward the whistleblower complaint regarding Trump’s pressuring the Ukrainian president to launch an investigation of Joe Biden.
That led to Trump’s impeachment and eventual acquittal.
Afterward, Trump fired a number of figures who testified during the trial, including Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who was removed from his position and escorted out of the White House by security after the conclusion of the trial.