Newest Acting State Department IG Out After Just Three Months, Deputy Will Take Over

Mike Pompeo (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM / POOL / AFP) (Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
August 5, 2020 11:16 a.m.

Stephen Akard, the acting inspector general at the State Department installed after President Donald Trump fired his predecessor, is resigning this week after less than three months on the job.

A State Department official told TPM that he is returning to the private sector. Deputy Inspector General Diana Shaw will take over the acting Inspector General role, the official added.

Akard is still listed as the director on the Office of Foreign Missions website, a job he kept while also accepting the acting IG role. House Democrats took issue with that arrangement at the time, writing in a May letter that it will “chill whistleblower disclosures” to have the acting inspector general report to Pompeo in another job.

Akard, who had once worked for Vice President Mike Pence, was forced to recuse himself from ongoing probes touching on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his wife, Susan, after outcry from Democrats.

Trump fired Akard’s predecessor, Steve Linick, who was leading an investigation into an emergency declaration made to allow the administration to fast-track a massive arms deal with Saudi Arabia. Pompeo admitted that he had submitted written answers to Linick’s questions about that probe. Per CNN, the State Department and office of the inspector general are in their final negotiations over the report before its release.

On Monday, congressional Democrats sent out a slew of subpoenas to State Department officials to force their testimony on Linick’s firing. Akard was not subpoenaed.

Pompeo abruptly postponed a press availability scheduled for late Wednesday morning after the news of Akard’s departure broke.

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