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President Donald Trump has fired the intelligence community’s chief watchdog, Michael Atkinson, who was the first to sound the alarm to Congress last September about an “urgent” complaint he’d received from an intelligence official involving Trump’s communications with Ukraine’s president.
Atkinson’s decision set in motion the congressional probe that culminated in Trump’s impeachment, and ultimate acquittal in January, largely along party lines.
The article goes on to state the following:
Trump formally notified the Senate and House Intelligence Committees of his intention to fire Atkinson, to take effect 30 days from Friday, according to two congressional officials and a copy of the letter obtained by POLITICO dated April 3.
President Trump wrote in the letter: “This is to advise that I am exercising my power as President to remove from office the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, effective 30 days from today.
“It is extremely important that we promote the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of Federal programs and activities. The Inspectors General have a critical role in the achievement of these goals.
“As is the case with regard to other positions where I, as President, have the power of appointment … it is vital that I have the fullest confidence in the appointees serving as inspectors general. That is no longer the case with regard to this Inspector General.”
Trump added, “At a later date, I will be submitting to the Senate my nomination of an individual for this position who has my full confidence and who meets the appropriate qualifications.”
Trump is removing the inspector general of the intelligence community, Michael Atkinson, per letter sent to lawmakers tonight. pic.twitter.com/myPDqoJ8G4
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) April 4, 2020
Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff blasted the move, tweeting, “Trump’s dead of night decision to fire ICIG Michael Atkinson is another blatant attempt to gut the independence of the Intelligence Community and retaliate against those who dare to expose presidential wrongdoing. It puts our country and national security at even greater risk.”
Trump’s dead of night decision to fire ICIG Michael Atkinson is another blatant attempt to gut the independence of the Intelligence Community and retaliate against those who dare to expose presidential wrongdoing.
It puts our country and national security at even greater risk. pic.twitter.com/Pnm7chdIkl
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) April 4, 2020
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also tweeted, “Michael Atkinson is a man of integrity who has served our nation for almost two decades. Being fired for having the courage to speak truth to power makes him a patriot.”
Michael Atkinson is a man of integrity who has served our nation for almost two decades. Being fired for having the courage to speak truth to power makes him a patriot. https://t.co/Gl3JtewXL0
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) April 4, 2020
BREAKING: President Trump has fired Michael Atkinson, the intelligence watchdog who handled the complaint that triggered his impeachment. https://t.co/WKqi1oZHcC
— The Associated Press (@AP) April 4, 2020
Senate Intel vice chair @MarkWarner: “In the midst of a national emergency, it is unconscionable that the President is once again attempting to undermine the integrity of the IC by firing yet another an intelligence official simply for doing his job…” https://t.co/0iz6On0aH3
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) April 4, 2020
To get more information about this article, please visit Politico.