Pelosi condemns Trump's 'sudden' replacement of Pentagon IG

Pelosi condemns Trump's 'sudden' replacement of Pentagon IG
© Greg Nash

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Pelosi Sunday shows preview: Leaders weigh in as country erupts in protest over George Floyd death 5 things to know about US-China tensions over Hong Kong Pelosi calls Trump's decision to withdraw US from WHO 'an act of extraordinary senselessness' MORE (D-Calif.) on Tuesday condemned President TrumpDonald John TrumpDonald Trump and Joe Biden create different narratives for the election The hollowing out of the CDC Poll: Biden widens lead over Trump to 10 points MORE's “sudden” replacement of the inspector general for the Pentagon.

Pelosi called the removal of acting Inspector General Glenn Fine a part of the president’s “disturbing pattern of retaliation” against “independent overseers.”

“Since Day One, the President has tried to marginalize and exercise ultimate control over independent Inspectors General,” she said in a statement. “Yet again, he is doubling down on his signing statement promise to disregard critical oversight provisions that hold the Administration accountable to the law.”

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Just last week, Fine had been designated to lead the coronavirus relief oversight panel. Pelosi called his dismissal a “reaction” by the president to the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package being changed to “workers-first” from “corporations-first.”

The Pandemic Response Accountability Committee will be responsible for auditing the distribution of funds from the bill and investigating any questionable actions.

“We will continue to exercise our oversight to ensure that this historic investment of taxpayer dollars is being used wisely and efficiently to help workers and families,” Pelosi said.

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Pelosi noted that Fine’s replacement came “just days after the shameful late-night firing” of Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community's inspector general. Atkinson elevated a whistleblower complaint last year that led to the House impeachment inquiry into Trump.

Fine had served as acting inspector general at the Pentagon since 2016. He will now go back to being principal deputy inspector general for the Defense Department. Trump selected Jason Abend, a senior policy adviser for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, to replace Fine.

The Environmental Protection Agency's inspector general, Sean O'Donnell, will serve as acting inspector general for the Defense Department.