Foreign Affairs Dem Points To Saudi Arms Sale As Possible Reason For IG’s Ouster

WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES - JANUARY 28 2020: U.S. Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY) speaks about the recent bipartisan Congressional trip to Poland and Israel for the commemoration of 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz.
Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) speaks about the recent bipartisan Congressional trip to Poland and Israel for the commemoration of 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz. (Michael Brochstein / Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media... Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) speaks about the recent bipartisan Congressional trip to Poland and Israel for the commemoration of 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz. (Michael Brochstein / Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images) MORE LESS

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) put forth on Monday a different reason why President Donald Trump may have fired State Department Inspector General Steve Linick last week, beyond the watchdog’s investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s alleged misuse of staff.

“I have learned that there may be another reason for Mr. Linick’s firing,” Engel said in a statement obtained by TPM. “His office was investigating — at my request — Trump’s phony declaration of an emergency so he could send weapons to Saudi Arabia.”

“We don’t have the full picture yet, but it’s troubling that Secretary Pompeo wanted Mr. Linick pushed out before this work could be completed,” the Democratic lawmaker added.

The Trump administration came under fire last year when Pompeo oversaw $8 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates without Congress’ approval after the administration declared a state of emergency.

Engel’s committee held a hearing last June to grill State Department deputy R. Clarke Cooper on the administration’s decision-making leading up to the deal, why it was kept hidden from congressional oversight and what conflicts of interest may have driven the deal given White House senior adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner’s friendship with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Kate Riga contributed reporting.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: