Mike’s comments: The big Don has done it again. As is his usual policy, whenever a person with some qualifications or integrity gets into a leadership position, he has to be removed.
While he gave no explanation as to why the removal was made, I suspect that this was someone who did not have his lips pressed firmly enough to Trump’s ass. I also think that the Trumpster fire may wish to have someone in charge that he can maneuver into somehow funneling some of the relief funds into his business, even though the law he signed prohibits this. The fact is that Trump never does anything that he doesn’t see as being to his personal benefit.
How many more days of his daily delusional rants and buckets of bovine scat can the White House press corps stand before a reporter cracks and tells the blithering idiot to go fuck himself?
Original Politico article by Kyle Cheney and Connor O’Brien
A panel of inspectors general had named Glenn Fine — the acting Pentagon watchdog — to lead the group charged with monitoring the coronavirus relief effort. But Trump on Monday removed Fine from his post, instead of naming the EPA inspector general to serve as the temporary Pentagon watchdog in addition to his other responsibilities.
That decision, which began circulating on Capitol Hill Tuesday morning, effectively removed Fine from his role overseeing the coronavirus relief effort, since the new law permits only current inspectors general to fill the position.“Mr. Fine is no longer on the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee,” Dwrena Allen, a spokeswoman for the Pentagon inspector general’s office, confirmed.
Fine’s removal is Trump’s latest incursion into the community of independent federal watchdogs — punctuated most dramatically by his late Friday ouster of the intelligence community’s inspector general, Michael Atkinson, whose handling of a whistle-blower report ultimately led to Trump’s impeachment.
Trump has also begun sharply attacking Health and Human Services Inspector General Christi Grimm, following a report from her office that described widespread testing delays and supply issues at the nation’s hospitals.“Another Fake Dossier!” Trump tweeted, mentioning Grimm’s tenure as inspector general during the Obama administration. He didn’t mention, though, that Grimm has been serving as a federal watchdog since 1999, spanning administrations of both parties.
Trump’s targeting of Atkinson drew an unusual rebuke from Michael Horowitz, the inspector general of the Justice Department who also oversees a council of inspectors general. Horowitz said Atkison handled the whistle-blower matter appropriately and defended the broader IG community.
“The Inspector General Community will continue to conduct aggressive, independent oversight of the agencies that we oversee,” he said in a statement after Atkinson’s ouster. Atkinson, too, issued a lengthy statement Saturday accusing Trump of removing him for following whistleblower laws.
Lawmakers were given notice Tuesday that Trump had designated Sean O’Donnell, the inspector general of the Environmental Protection Agency, to take over the Pentagon watchdog’s office in addition to his current post. That designation negated Fine’s appointment to the coronavirus oversight panel.
“Yesterday, the President nominated Mr. Jason Abend for the position of DoD Inspector General,” Allen said. “The same day, the President also designated Mr. Sean W. O’Donnell, who is the Environmental Protection Agency Inspector General (EPA IG), to serve as the Acting DoD IG in addition to his current duties at the EPA.”
The new coronavirus law includes multiple layers of oversight, the most powerful of which is the panel of inspectors general given wide latitude to probe any aspect of its implementation. Fine was named by fellow inspectors general to lead that panel just last week. Now, his colleagues will be forced to make a new selection.
Fine had been the acting Pentagon watchdog since early 2016 after joining the Defense Department inspector general’s office in 2015 during the Obama administration. He was previously the Justice Department’s inspector general from 2000 to 2011, spanning three administrations of both parties.
Fine will revert to his Senate-confirmed position as principal deputy inspector general and “remains focused and committee to the important mission” of the Pentagon watchdog’s office, Allen said.
Abend, who has been nominated to take over as the permanent Pentagon inspector general, is a senior policy adviser with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
But the Senate is out of session until at least April 20, and a shortened election-year calendar will give the Senate Armed Services Committee precious little time to confirm Abend, meaning O’Donnell may be in for an extended stay at the Pentagon.