The hold from Grassley will indefinitely block confirmation of Christopher Miller as National Counterterrorism Center director and Marshall Billingslea as undersecretary of state for arms control and international security.
“Congress has made it clear that should the president find reason to fire an inspector general, there ought to be a good reason for it,” said the Iowa Republican, who added that it was important Americans not “be left speculating whether political or self-interests are to blame. That’s not good for the presidency or government accountability.”
Grassley and many of his Democratic colleagues, has spent weeks railing against the terminations of State Department Inspector General Steve Linick and Michael Atkinson, inspector general for the intelligence community.
Inspectors generals serve as internal watchdogs for government agencies and Grassley is known to be a longtime champion of them.
“A little history/irony @realdonaldtrump Did u know Hillary Clinton didn’t want an inspector general so she didn’t have 1? Did u know it was a top priority for Kerry to get 1? That was Linick I found him 2b helpful when trying to get to bottom of email scandal Now he’s gone!” Grassley said on Twitter in a public taunt of the president.
The Linick dismissal came as he was investigating allegations that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had used official funds for personal errands and lavish dinners for prospective campaign donors.
Team Trump has also removed acting IG’s from the departments of Transportation and Health and Human Services.
So far the Trump administration has offered no explanation for the terminations, beyond to say that it was legal and within their constitutional authority.
With Post wires