White House Counsel Responds to Inspector General Firings

Elliot Setzer
Wednesday, May 27, 2020, 11:49 AM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
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Sen. Chuck Grassley on May 26 released a five-page response from White House counsel Pat Cipollone intended to explain President Trump's firing of inspectors general Michael Atkinson and Steve Linick. Cipollone’s letter states that Trump had lost confidence in the inspectors general for the intelligence community and the State Department, and that in the case of Linick he was following Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recommendation to remove the inspector general from the position.

In a statement, Grassley indicated he was displeased with the response from Cipollone, saying it “failed” to meet the legal requirement of telling Congress the specific reasons for an inspector general’s firing.

You can read the letter from Cipollone here and below:

Elliot Setzer is a Knight-Hennessy Scholar at Stanford Law School and a Ph.D student at Yale University. He previously worked at Lawfare and the Brookings Institution.

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