If President Trump succeeds at replacing these IGs it will be another promise he can say he kept on the campaign trail.
My former colleague Susan Crabtree reported at RealClearPolitics that Trump, who often talks about draining the “swamp” in Washington, D.C., is now looking at IGs as part of a government-wide clearing of those hostile to his agenda.
“Trump, more so than other presidents, has made little secret of his distrust of high-profile inspectors general. In a mid-December tweet, the president accused Michael Horowitz, the FBI’s IG, of overlooking bias at the bureau in his final report on the way the agency handled its investigation into alleged Trump campaign ties to Russia. He also reminded the public that Horowitz had been appointed by President Obama,” Crabtree wrote.
Trump has even considered dismissing an IG he himself appointed, Michael Atkinson. Trump became angered at Atkinson for ruling the Ukraine whistleblower’s complaint credible, even though the whistleblower did not hear the call himself and the transcript of the call disputed many aspects of the complaint. Trump has yet to actually remove Atkinson, however, but has continued to last out “at him publicly, suggesting he conspired with Democrats to greenlight the whistleblower’s account,” Crabtree reported.
The effort to scrutinize IGs appears to be based on several cases, including Atkinson’s ruling on the Ukraine whistleblower and Horowitz’s refusal to list political bias as the cause of the Deep State’s bogus effort to connect Trump to Russia’s efforts to sow discontent in America’s election system. But the effort is also based on two specific cases involving former Trump appointees – one on the National Security Counsel (NSC) and one at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The NSC case involves former defense analyst Adam Lovinger, who was removed from the NSC early in Trump’s administration and “has spent nearly three years on unpaid administrative leave and the last two waiting for acting Defense Department Inspector General Glenn Fine, who was appointed by Obama, to wrap up the case and issue his final report,” Crabtree reported.