Trump Fires Intelligence Community Inspector General Who Informed Congress Of The Ukraine Whistleblower Complaint

President Donald Trump has fired the CIA Inspector General who was responsible for informing Congress of the whistleblower complaint on the Ukraine scandal. Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson will leave his job in 30 days and, in the interim, will be on interim leave. No successor has been named. I previously stated that I believe Atkinson was wrong in his interpretation of the law (as later found by the Justice Department). However, I believe that this is a mistake and undermines the system of whistleblower protections as well as the Inspector General system. Without a specific basis for the action, it appears retaliatory and it is certainly unnecessary. As noted below, there could be a legitimate concern over the interpretation of this law in the future if Atkinson was defying the Justice Department’s conclusions. Yet, that was not cited as the basis for the termination.

I have long resented how administrations often wait until Friday night to bury stories that they do not want to be covered. That was the case with Atkinson’s firing. On Friday night, President Trump informed Congress: “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.”

When Trump removed figures like Alexander Vindman after the impeachment, I thought it was gratuitous and unnecessary (he was leaving within the month). However, I could understand working with Vindman would be difficult. This is different.

Atkinson was wrong in his interpretation of the complaint failing within the statutory scheme for reporting to Congress. While the inspector general concluded that this allegation fell within the whistleblower law, the Justice Department has a good faith basis to reject his interpretation. That law is intended to address mismanagement, waste, abuse or a danger to public safety by intelligence officials. The president is the ultimate intelligence authority, and there is little support to argue that a discussion between world leaders should be viewed as a subject of this law. After all, any intelligence official could claim that a president undermined national interests in discussions with another world leader. Trump has been denounced, perhaps correctly, for disclosing classified information to foreign figures, but he has total authority to declassify information for a good reason, a bad reason, or no reason at all.

I believe that Atkinson should have yielded to the legal judgment of the Justice Department on the interpretation of this law. I further believe that Trump had a legitimate complaint about the use of the law to cover such high-level communications. Yet, this was obviously a matter of good-faith disagreement. I understood the bind that Atkinson felt in deciding whether to report the complaint to Congress. He decided to err on the side of transparency, which is generally a good predisposition for any government official. Moreover, whatever mistake was made on the legal interpretation, it does not warrant this action. Atkinson did what he honestly thought was right for the country and I have seen nothing to suggest a political or vindictive motive.

Moreover, Atkinson’s firing undermines the independence of the Inspector General’s office and its key function in our system. It is also damaging to President Trump. Rather than take the high road and move his Administration beyond the scandal, Trump will appear as vindictive and retaliatory. To take the action in the middle of a pandemic also makes the President look petty and distracted.

What concerns me the most is that there was no reason given for firing Atkinson other than a “loss of confidence.” No one questions the right of a president to fire high-ranking officials on that basis, but it seems to reaffirm that this is being done in retaliation for his decision that he had to inform Congress of the complaint. The position of the White House would be stronger if the Inspector General was asserting that he would continue to report such complaints to Congress on calls with heads of State. Such a position would defy the legal interpretation of the Justice Department, which historically is given deference on the meaning of federal law. There was no indication that Atkinson had indicated that he would defy that interpretation. If he did, the Administration should make that position clear.

Atkinson was widely respected and was appointed by Trump to this position after a distinguished governmental career.

Tom Monheim, a career intelligence professional, will be named acting inspector general for the intelligence community. It is vital that President Trump fill this position as soon as possible.

401 thoughts on “Trump Fires Intelligence Community Inspector General Who Informed Congress Of The Ukraine Whistleblower Complaint”

  1. There is more than ample reason to fire Michael Atkinson. Simply put, Atkinson has been a total failure at performing his job. Keep in mind that Atkinson was supposed to be a watchdog, not a waste and fraud cover-up specialist. The Inspector General Act of 1978 created Inspectors General for to promote efficiencies and to detect fraud, waste, mismanagement, and abuse throughout the federal government.

    Can Atkinson make any claim whatsoever that he has ever done anything to promote efficiencies and to detect fraud, waste, mismanagement, and abuse? No, he can’t. He cannot point to a single thing. Nor can the author of this article or anyone else point to any such accomplishment. Atkinson has been an abject failure as an “Inspector General.”

    This article also states that Atkinson is “widely respected.” But “widely respected” by whom? Again, this article doesn’t say. Has anyone who has actually promoted efficiencies and detected criminal activity, fraud, waste, mismanagement, and abuse ever examined Atkinson’s purported “work” and evaluated what he’s ever done, or, more importantly in his case, what he hasn’t done? Nope. Atkinson should never have been hired in the first place because he had a track record of zero in any of the important skill areas that a genuine Inspector General must possess.

    1. “widely respected.” But “widely respected” by whom?

      Mueller was widely respected and considered a brilliant mind. Then we saw him in front of Congress.

      Joe Biden is ““widely respected.” by the Democrats and at present is likely to be the Democratic nominee because of that wide respect. Reminds me of the cartoon of Biden and Obama sitting near one another. The title is “Is this why we haven’t heard from President Obama. Biden has his electronic device in his hand and says to Obama “I’ve been calling you all day” To which Obama puts his head between his hands and responds, “Joe, that’s a calculator not a phone.”

  2. Given the sissy temperament of society today it appears it took courage for the President to fire a back- stabbing subordinate who changed the rules to mount an attack on him.

    It didn’t really take courage, just a backbone, and Trump has one of tempered steel.

    It was the right thing to do.

    1. That is some funny stuff.

      I think you mean chutzpah, though with uncritical and low information supporters who’ll swallow anything he does, not even that.

  3. My money is on Kushner being in charge of the Inspector-General office. If not now, give it a couple of hours.

    1. Kusher should take the IG position, then wait for Trump to finish his second term, before becoming his successor. Imagine what that would do to the TDS Leftwing tuck furds like you…

      If there is a god in heaven, Kushner should be President just to watch the Left consume the China Virus to get it over with

  4. So, you believe it’s wrong. And it’s wrong to fire the IG for being stupid?
    Just what grounds do you hold for the termination of a person,
    in a highly sensitive position,
    who grievously acts not only stupid,
    but against all reasonable principals that the job demanded?

    WoW. Good thing you weren’t working on the Manhattan Project in Security.

  5. Trump Administration Frequently Clashes With I.G.’s

    Trump’s endeavor to control what the special inspector general reports to Congress is not unique. It is another in a series of moves by this administration to limit the bearers of bad news:

    ●On Tuesday, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler, in an unusual public action, issued a news release “formally requesting the EPA IG rescind” a carcinogenic emissions report because of its “tone and substance.”

    ●In January, Glenn A. Fine, the acting Defense Department inspector general, who now also chairs a separate panel of pandemic spending watchdogs, told Congress about the Pentagon’s refusal to cooperate with his whistleblower investigations.

    ●In November, an EPA’s inspector general’s memo said a top agency official “offers free rein to agency staff to refuse OIG (Office of Inspector General) requests for information.”

    ●In February 2019, congressional Democrats protested Education Department “efforts to compromise the integrity of the OIG.” They said a plan to replace its acting inspector general, following demands that she drop an investigation or change its focus, represents “a clear attempt to violate the statutory independence” of the inspector general’s office.”

    ●In June 2018, Peter O’Rourke, a former acting Veterans Affairs secretary, displayed his mistaken understanding of the statutory independence provided inspectors general during a dispute with IG Michael Missal. Missal had complained the department’s whistleblower protection office was not providing requested information. O’Rourke wrote an intimidating letter to Missal that said, “I am your immediate supervisor. You are directed to act accordingly.”

    Generally, disputes involving inspectors general are limited to the agency level. But Trump initiated a row involving the special inspector general’s reporting responsibility, drawing a sharp retort from Capitol Hill.

    “The use of a signing statement by this and past presidents to undermine the ability of Inspectors General to provide Congress statutorily-required information is troubling and unacceptable,” said a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin from Democratic Sens. Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Ron Wyden (Ore.) and Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.), the party’s leader in the Chamber. “Faithful application of the law is not optional. It is a requirement.”

    Edited from: “Trump Is Trying To Undermine The Government’s Independent Watchdogs, Again”

    Today’s Washington Post 

  6. “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you…”

    – Chuck Schumer, January 4, 2017
    ___________________________

    The Obama Coup D’etat in America is the most egregious abuse of power and the most prodigious scandal in American political history.

    The co-conspirators are:

    Bill Taylor, Eric Ciaramella, Rosenstein, Mueller/Team, Andrew Weissmann,

    James Comey, Christopher Wray, McCabe, Strozk, Page, Laycock, Kadzic,

    Sally Yates, James Baker, Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, Priestap, Kortan, Campbell,

    Sir Richard Dearlove, Christopher Steele, Simpson, Joseph Mifsud,

    Alexander Downer, Stefan “The Walrus” Halper, Azra Turk, Kerry, Hillary,

    Huma, Mills, Brennan, Gina Haspel, Clapper, Lerner, Farkas, Power, Lynch,

    Rice, Jarrett, Holder, Brazile, Sessions (patsy), Nadler, Schiff, Pelosi, Obama,

    James E. Boasberg et al.

  7. “Rather than take the high road and move his Administration beyond the scandal, Trump will appear as vindictive and retaliatory.”

    This sounds like the person who is about to be murdered not wanting to defend himself because he might get the murderer angry. Ask yourself what is he worried about? Being killed twice?

  8. IG was fired not only for losing President’s confidence but mainly because he changed the rules defining who can be considered whistleblower from first-hand knowledge to whomever

    1. Yes, changing the rule to allow hearsay to support an action. That was an act of deliberate sabotage.

      1. The charges by the whistle blower were all confirmed by 1st person witnesses, the transcript, and actions by the administration other than the phone call.

        A form was changed, not the law or a rule, which was not specific on 1st person accusations. The accuracy of the whistle blowers complaint demonstrated the benefit of that change in the form to be in compliance with the law which only requires “reasonable belief”.

        1. bythebook, Please, trying to inform Trump Supporters on this site in impossible. Tip of the old hat for even trying, but no matter the facts or truth. Their mind is made up and no facts can get in the way.

      2. Another failed attempt

        in yet anther contrived chapter

        in the book of Obama

        and his co-conspirators

        of his Coup D’etat in America.

        Were this China, Russia, Saudi Arabia,

        North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, etc.,

        Obama would have been, shall we say,

        adjudicated with extreme prejudice long ago.

    1. Absurd,

      I suspect the FBI has always been doing this. Wray should be fired. Time for leadership that believes in the law and doesn’t believe he is the law.

      Abolish FISA, maybe abolish FBI. Considering what has slipped through their fingers, 9-11, Ft. Hood, San Bernardino, and many, many others we won’t be risking much by losing them.

      1. It seems incredible that Judicial Watch can uncover more on it’s own than the entire Congress with years of hearings and investigations.

        What a wonderful organization.

        But one might suspect that Congress doesn’t really want to uncover half as much as it pretends.

        1. Maybe you meant the Senate majority Young, which for the 1st time EVER in our history refused to hear witnesses in an impeachment hearing.

          The House uncovered the administration extorting the President of the Ukraine for a public announcement of an investigation into Trump’s biggest threat to re-election.

  9. In Dante’s Divine Comedy the 9th of 9 circles was the lowest circle of Hell where Satan resided in a frozen lake, chewing in his mouth those beings who were the very lowest form of human existence: traitors.

    No punishment, in my opinion, is too great, for the man who can build his greatness upon his country’s ruin.

    – George Washington

  10. In the real world incompetence is not acceptable.. This Inspector General failed to do his job properly. How can you have faith in him in the future. What valid reason is there to keep him in his job.

    1. Chet,

      Good point. If the Inspector General is a failure it weakens confidence in all institutions for him to be allowed to remain in place just because of fear of “appearances”.

      Consider the public perception of the DOJ now. Nobody is ever punished for any wrongdoing and public trust in a formerly honored institution has evaporated. Somehow in pursuing the bad guys they became the bad guys.

      1. The DoJ needs a refoundation as well. Firing everybody within two steps of James Comey, Eric Holder, and various rogue U.S. Attorneys would be a start. Distributing the components of the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and the law-enforcement wings of several other departments among about five new departments would be agreeable as well.

        1. Absurd,

          Right! Flush the sewer. Reallocate many FBI responsibilities. The Marshals could probably do a lot more. I don’t think they are fully contaminated yet.

          1. The FBI has field offices all over the country and typically work with the DOJ District offices.

            1. btb – J. Edgar had certain punishment assignments for his agents. Butte, MT was one. If you have ever been to Butte, MT you know why.

              1. I have been to Butte. It is nice in the summer. I think a field office should be placed in Pt Barrow for the Comry remoras. Barrow doesn’t have a summer to speak of and there are lots of polar bears they can count for AOC.

                1. Young – I was there in the early 60s when there still was no grass. Great whore houses, though. 😉

                    1. Allan – they were opened as a brothel museum. Closed a few years ago.

                  1. Yes, they closed because mining revenue declined. As you probably know they were valued members of the community and never caused problems. Didn’t have red lights. Instead signs saying “Rooms” after the name and were on a second floor above a saloon.

                  2. Paul,

                    Nice to know that you are familiar with the mining West. You understand that while they could tolerate cat houses, saloons and a few churches, there was no room for blubbering, whiney, cry babies. Good people.

                    1. Young – my home town had cat houses that were tolerated. My mother told me that they were THE place to eat during WWII. The houses were on my paper route and they tipped well. 😉

                    2. Paul – In Wallace the girls in the cat houses bought new uniforms for the HS football team and a new cruiser for the police. I sold lottery tickets at one of the cat houses. Nice people. Interestingly, they were polite and never as foul mouthed as people, particularly movie types, are today. And, no, they were not exploited wretches.

        2. Also, FBI headquarters are too close to temptation. I would like to see them moved to Nebraska. Pt. Barrow, Alaska would be even better. Won’t happen though. Would Guam tip over if they were moved there? For social distancing, don’t you know.

            1. Absurd, Young is just revealing his ‘Small government-we have to take a wrecking ball to Washington mentality’. Some minds are so stuck in that groove they will get beyond.

              1. FAA hasn’t been harmed by being in Oklahoma City and it makes sense for Interior to actually be in the interior. A government doesn’t have to be smaller by being dispersed closer to where it is needed and further from where it can do harm. But, in fact, it probably should be much smaller.

                1. Young, putting government agencies far from Washington puts them ‘out of the loop’ regarding what’s really happening in Washington. An Agency chief way out in the boonies has far less access to Congress, The White House and Cabinet Officials.

                  1. Peter – the original govt was in the middle of the country. It needs to be relocated. We can repurpose the buildings.

                    1. It doesn’t need to be relocated. The problem has been that the federal government puts its hands on everything, without regard to whether legal convention has allowed it or whether the activity benefits from central co-ordination, control, and financing. The federal government’s involvement in primary and secondary schooling has been a misbegotten mess, just to take one example. Ditto higher education.

                    2. Sure, Paul, the U.S. Capitol could be converted into a shopping mall. The U.S. Treasury could be used as a private sector printing plant. The White House could become a Bed & Breakfast lodge.

                    3. Peter – the Clintons rented out the Lincoln bedroom, so it would be a perfect fit.

                    4. … the U.S. Capitol could be converted into a shopping mall

                      The US Capitol is a shopping mall, looted by fat pigs like Sheila Jackson Lee (black fat pig), Frederica Wilson (ridiculous black fat pig), Maxine Waters (clownish black pig), Jerold Nadler (hog’s hog) and that’s just for starters

                      Oh and Bill Clinton sprayed his stains every where in the White House, not that a pig like Seth would care. He would probably lap it up

                    5. Paul, I forgot the Clinton’s rented the Lincoln bedroom. What money grabbers. Did they ever return the silverware they reportedly stole?

                    6. Paul, is the Trump Hotel, 5 minutes from the White House, more subtle in your mind?

                    7. IHOP, are you including the Republican Senate in your assessment? I wonder because the Big Government haters always imagine that government only consists of Democrats.

                  2. Seth,

                    That’s the point.

                    Hasn’t harmed the FAA.

                    The fact that you call the rest of the country outside the beltway “the boonies” perfectly illustrates the foul, out of touch attitude in DC.

                    1. Young, you’re still dwelling in the pre-virus age. Back then rabid conservatives thought we had to destroy government. But by the time this crisis is over, no one Under 60 is going to ever swallow that small government crap again. The whole concept will be as quaint as analogue TV.

                    2. Seth there is only one virus that matters to people like you and you cant catch the AIDS virus from the gays in West Hollywood since they are enforcing 6 miles social distancing from the likes of you

                    3. That ‘John Burgoye’ character is none other than Crazed Idiot.

                      Lately Crazed Idiot has been using his most frequent handle to feature himself as a Lab Tech at a major research facility. In this capacity Crazed Idiot has promoted himself as an ‘insider’s to the the nation’s pandemic response.

                      Crazed Idiot wants to keep his Lab Tech Identity separate from his homocentric comments. So he’s using the name ‘John Burgoyne’ and praying we don’t connect him with the Lab Tech.

                    4. Young, you’re still dwelling in the pre-virus age. Back then rabid conservatives thought we had to destroy government.

                      You caricature what people say, then attack the caricature. That’s a stupid waste of time.

                  3. Renting rooms, stealing silverware, what in the name of Geroge Washington himself is going on here? I hope you all are joking. 🤔

            2. They would quit rather than move.

              Interior lost a lot of dead weight when quarters were moved from DC to Colorado.

                1. Again, these agencies have field offices who encompass the bulk of the federal workforce. IIRC, about 15% of the federal workforce is in the DC commuter belt. (We can check).

                  1. Probably true. It is the heads of these departments, the policy makers, who need to be moved to what Seth calls the boonies but the rest of us call America.

          1. Despite DDS’s question I think there is merit in what you say. Living in DC can corrupt a mindset. In fact my biggest question about Gorsuch was that he resided in DC.

            1. Allan,

              Yes, that too. The ‘mindset’ of DC is corrupted with arrogance and elitism. I wondered about Gorsuch for the same reason.

              I think a large part of the mouth-foaming hatred for President Trump comes down to his not being another professional DC creature. That, of course, is the same reason many of us wanted him, and he has not disappointed. Could fire more, faster, though.

              1. I always note that when the rest of the country is doing badly DC doesn’t seem to hurt. Too much concentrated power and money and too many seeking more of both.

                Trump is an outsider and therefore threatens their power and their money.

                1. He just gave his millionaire and billionaire buddies and grifter kids a giant tax cut. How exactly is he threatening “power and money”

                    1. Allan, a modest correction. Assumptions require thinking and there is little evidence btb does that.

                2. I always note that when the rest of the country is doing badly DC doesn’t seem to hurt.

                  There isn’t any mining and hardly any manufacturing in the DC commuter belt, so the cyclical amplitude is mitigated to some degree. (There is tourist trade, which is more cyclical).

                  The unemployment rate in the DC commuter belt in January of this year was 3.1%, somewhat lower than the national mean but similar to a raft of other places (the Omaha commuter belt being one). In May and June of 2009 and 2010, the unemployment rate for the DC commuter belt was around 6.2%. That’s better than much of the rest of the country, but not stellar. Other places with similar below-the-average rates were Honolulu, Idaho Falls, all seven commuter belts in Iowa, four of five commuter belts in Kansas, Portland (Maine), Lafayette (La). Rochester (Mn), Billings (Mt), Lincoln (Neb), Omaha, all belts in New Hampshire, Santa Fe (N Mex), all belts in North Dakota, two of three belts in Oklahoma, all belts in South Dakota, several belts in Texas (Amarillo, Austin, Bryan-College-Station, Lubbock, Midland), Logan (Utah), Burlington (Vt),

                  1. There is money and power so when there is a housing crisis DC area where our special people live rises.

                    1. Allan, the Case-Shiller 20 city index fell by 32% between the spring of 2006 and the spring of 2009. In the Washington DC commuter belt, it fell…31.5%.

                    2. If you wish to look at the DC areas that are poverty struck and where normal people live DC did badly but when one traces the areas of the rich and powerful they weren’t hit at all.

              2. Young – I used to posit to my students that DC should be relocated to the geographic center of the lower 48. The “elitists” would soon get a grip on reality.

                1. Paul,

                  That is a very good idea, although I would modify it by locating the headquarters for many agencies in different parts of the country, preferably closer to where they can appreciate the issues they are meant to address. With modern communications there is no need for them to be close enough to sniff a senator’s behind.

                  1. That is a very good idea, although I would modify it by locating the headquarters for many agencies in different parts of the country, preferably closer to where they can appreciate the issues they are meant to address.

                    If we had a properly ordered central government, the issues in question wouldn’t have a highly localized expression. What should the central government do:

                    1. High politics: that’s the military, the diplomatic corps, the civilian intelligence services, and the overseas development and relief apparat.

                    2. The central bank and mint. That’s already largely disaggregated and has been. What you have in DC are some HQ employees. You have to put them somewhere. Again, monetary policy issues are not highly localised and to the extent that they are, each region has it’s own Federal Reserve Bank.

                    3. Regulatory inspectorates addressing inter-state and international transactions or the activities of multi-state firms. You have business activity all over the country. You can put the HQ of the Federal Trade Commission in St. Louis, but that would just make their hq employees more familiar with St. Louis. I suppose you could stick stuff in Louisville, which is sort of a national median settlement on a half-dozen scales. Of course, you put a mess of federal employees in Louisville and it isn’t quite Louisville anymore.

                    4. Lumpy scientific research services. What issues are NASA or NIH or the National Laboratories meant to address that they would comprehend better if their hq employees were in Kansas City?

                    5.Management of federal property holdings. Now, here you might have an argument, because the bulk of it is out west.

                    6. Big welfare: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, and unemployment compensation. Medical service markets can have local features, but that’s an argument for comprehensive devolution, not shifting headquarters around. As for the rest, I’m not seeing a difference in kind from one locality to another, just degree.

                    7. Small welfare (e.g. services for itinerant populations, the small insular dependencies, Indian reservations, &c). The notable thing about these clients is how scattered they are.

                    8. Veterans benefits. ditto

                    9. Federal police. ditto

                    10. Support services for the foregoing. ditto.

                    I’m sorry. ‘Move it to Indianapolis’ seems like a spin-those-wheels exercise. Your problem isn’t the DC commuter belt. It’s Capitol Hill and K Street. Deal with that.

                    1. DSS – I was thinking of the plains of Kansas with no room for lobbyists.

              3. No Young, it’s because he’s lying low life scumbag who spends too much of his time watching TV and bragging about things that aren’t true. You get that right?

            2. Allen, the vast majority of people who live around DC have flat nothing to do with ‘political Washington’. They’re the same people you meet in any other large city, albeit about 20% are federal employees. The corruption which adheres to political Washington is local to that social set. You can find that sort of corruption in state capitols, Albany notably.

              1. DSS, you have a lot of the other people that live in the area but the concentration of power is too great. Take note of how DC does when the rest of the country is in trouble. The powerful congregate in specific areas and their lives are attached to those areas not the rest of DC. Also when considering DC one has to also consider some of the adjacent communities.

                Albany is NY so what do you expect? 🙂

                1. Allan, you have a central government. Public agencies are hierarchical. Power is going to be concentrated in some body of people. You’re not explaining why having them in one commuter belt is bad. The president has to have face-to-face meetings with his cabinet and Congress performing its oversight functions have to call in bureau chiefs.

                  One problem is that there are too many politically-determined incomes. The answer to that is fewer politically-determined incomes, not putting the HQ of agency x in Indianapolis. Another answer is to farm out functions.

                  1. I said not DC but I said nothing of one or more commuter belts. You even listed a to t cuts in the numbers of federal employees. That immediately changes the dynamics. Maybe your preference is a bigger federal government than I want.

                    1. Allan, federal employees live and work all over the DC commuter belt, not just in DC itself.

                      Maybe your preference is a bigger federal government than I want.

                      Define ‘bigger’? Are you referring to budgets or people?

                      All this hoo-ha about moving federal agencies around refers to their employees. Now, in New York, about 3/4 of all state employees have one thing in common: they are not stationed at headquarters. I think the share in re federal employees is even larger.

                      The discrete bullet points I offered you said nothing about the military. Well, over 40% of all federal employees are in uniform, and that’s not a function you can devolve or subcontract. There’s another 20% or so who form the civilian auxilliary to the armed services. Can’t devolve or subcontract much of that either, though it can be pruned.

                      The Department of Education is a stinking mess, but it’s a mess that only employs about 4,000 people. IIRC, HUD’s another stinking mess, but it employs just 16,000 or so. The Social Security system has a huge budget, It employs about 60,000 people, supposedly, or < 2% of the total federal workforce.

                    2. “Define ‘bigger’? Are you referring to budgets or people?”

                      DSS, both, but you have already agreed that many agencies aren’t needed.You are already starting to solve the problem I raised and you disagreed with.

                      “All this hoo-ha about moving federal agencies around ”

                      Those are your words not mine.

                      I never said to move the military. That is a primary function of government.

                      You brought up the Department of Education. Do we need so much Washington involvement in the school systems?

              2. You can find corruption more commonly in state offices because they don’t receive the scrutiny the federal government does, nor in most states are reforms intended to limit corruption as plentiful. The former tendency is heightened today because news sources are becoming nationalized with local papers and local TV news dying out. If your average citizen can name his 2 state senators – questionable – he will almost certainly fail to name his state rep and senator. Local and state elections not held at the same time as federal have very low turnouts.

                1. If ‘scrutiny’ is the problem, that can be addressed in the individual state capitals, not by moving the lobbyists to DC.

                  1. Yes, it can be addressed in the states – citizens have the means for self governing – but it isn’t and is likely to be less so with current trends. Arguments to move power to the states typically resolve with less oversight. It is hard to imagine that those interests most actively advocating that position don’t know that.

        3. Your demonstrated ignorance on this subject disqualifies you from making recommendations anyone would take seriously.

    2. The Inspector General acted appropriately and responsibly. Loyalty to Trump is the sought after characteristic here, not principle or competence. We are getting down to the 2nd and 3rd level of cover up stooges and yes men running the country. Anyone with a reputation they value will not work for this dictator wanna be.

      1. Like hell that IG acted appropriate. Lots of these guys should on trial & thrown in prison after verdicts come in.

        https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/04/brennan-lashes-trump-firing-icig-michael-atkinson-encourages-americans-fire-trump-november/

        Reminder: Fired ICIG Atkinson Is Connected to Schiff’s Impeachment Sham and His Wife is Connected to Fusion GPS – The Russia Collusion Sham Instigators
        By Jim Hoft
        Published April 4, 2020 at 7:40am
        105 Comments

        https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/04/reminder-fired-icig-atkinson-connected-schiffs-impeachment-sham-wife-connected-fusion-gps-russia-collusion-sham-instigators/

  11. Trump Fires One Inspector General.. While Nominating Another.  

    But ‘Both’ Decisions Are Seen As A Slap At Independence

    Yesterday Trump strongly signaled he wants only Inspector Generals loyal to ‘him’.  The Inspector General for Intelligence, Michael Atkinson, was fired for allowing impeachment revelations to move forward.  That should chill any Inspector General brave enough to report wrongdoing by this administration.

    But yesterday Trump also nominated an Inspector General to oversee the $2 trillion rescue package Congress just approved for the Covid-19 fallout to the U.S. Economy.  Trump’s choice is Brian Miller, a White House lawyer whose most recent jobs was processing impeachment-related document requests.  

    Miller is most certainly considered a Trump loyalist and therefore ‘not’ an appropriate choice for this new I.G. position.  Trump, in fact, has been vocal regarding his opposition to an Inspector General for the rescue package.  Trump wanted Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin to have total discretion in the disbursement of those funds regarding corporate bailouts.

    Yesterday stories emerged suggesting that Trump’s own company, The Trump Organization, will seek relief from the $2 billion fund.  For this reason alone, the Inspector General must be seen as totally independent from Trump’s White House.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/04/03/trump-coronavirus-inspector-general-brian-miller/

  12. Atkinson should have been fired immediately. He went against his own department’s policy and the Federal regulations. It’s obvious he was working for Schiff, as was Vindman and possibly other moles. The purpose of an IG is to ensure that his department follows proper procedures and the law, not to invent his own policies. Bear in mind that the intelligence community failed to predict the coronavirus situation. Why? Because they were trying to get Trump.

    1. Sam you’re totally wrong in saying the Intelligence Community overlooked the Covid-19 threat. North Carolina Senator Richard Burr famously cashed out his investment portfolio ‘after’ an intelligence briefing.

  13. TIA, he was not elected. He was appointed by Trump and had previously received DOJ awards for prosecuting 2 Democratic pol;ticians for fraud.

    1. Well, guess what, Gainesville. You reveal yourself each time you do something. And what he did not only merits dismissal, it merits disbarment.

  14. The Justice Department is, like all other cabinet departments, an arm of the president and thus serves the politics and the policy of the president. Their legal opinions will also follow the politics and policy of the president, and thus should not be considered to be independent or unbiased. The OLC “Torture Memo” of the Bush II administration should have made all of this clear.

    1. “The Justice Department is, like all other cabinet departments, an arm of the president and thus serves the politics and the policy of the president. … should have made all of this clear.”

      What makes this clearest was the abomination of the weaponization of the justice department, FBI and multiple other agencies in the Obama Administration. We are see all sorts of problems due to the uncaring politicalization of the bureaucracy by Obama. Most recently we have see a judge ask the FBI once again to review many ofl the FISA requests while getting rid of some because they were plain illegal.

      1. Atkinson was a Trump appointee who previously distinguished himself by prosecuting Rep Jefferson, a Democrat, om fraud.

        1. I don’t care what party he belongs to or who appointed him. I care how he acted and IMO for reasons already stated he acted inappropriately and caused harm.

          I have and had a lot of employees and I have had a lot of good people fired because they weren’t fit for the job. One of them was a friend and he still is. We found him a more suitable job and that preserved the friendship.

          1. The IG acted appropriately and responsibly. He was fired for not being an a.s kissing Trump stooge.

            1. You know more about a.s kissing than I and have all that experience behind you but a.s kissing was not what Trump wanted. He wanted competence something you should learn so that you wouldn’t have to do so much a.s kissing.

                1. I’m a normal type of guy who created his own unique workplaces and moved from the slums to a much better environment. Though I am still occupied with some of the businesses and therefore work I haven’t had to work in years. Sometimes I even hire people in your business but I exclude the a.s wipers.

            2. The IG acted appropriately and responsibly.

              You can’t stop lying. Correct-the-Record is not sending us their best.

  15. The usual suspects applaud another yes man opening. Needless to say, they’d all be freaking out if Obama had done anything like Trump’s extortion.

    Cleared by a Senate majority too corrupt to require witnesses for the 1st time ever in a Senate impeachment hearing, he’s tainted forever by anyone not a Trump cult member. Most on this board are.

  16. There is NOTHING good faith about this administration or the DOJ under Barr. Barr rejected the complaint because it was against the President! No standards were applied no analysis was done. Barr fulfilled the promised of his groveling “job” application letter.

    And now the attacks can begin. To quote Jack Nicholson: You can’t handle the truth!

    Stay safe and healthy.

  17. Doofus, he was not elected. He was appointed by Trump and had previously received DOJ awards for prosecuting 2 Democratic pol;ticians for fraud.

  18. “Moreover, Atkinson’s firing undermines the independence of the Inspector General’s office and its key function in our system. It is also damaging to President Trump. Rather than take the high road and move his Administration beyond the scandal, Trump will appear as vindictive and retaliatory. To take the action in the middle of a pandemic also makes the President look petty and distracted.”

    At what point hasn’t Trump appeared as this?? At what point hasn’t Trump BEEN this? It’s straight Trump. It’s how he rolls. He’s been on a systematic assault of the aspects of intelligence and justice who hold him accountable since he entered office. And while it might have broken custom for the IG to bypass Justice on the Ukrainian extortion…, it makes all the sense in the world that he did. Barr buried the Mueller report. The IG was alerted to a clear constitutional crisis in Trump’s Ukraine policy and knew Barr would bury that, too. While it doesn’t surprise me Trump did this on a Friday night after this week, I was hoping for a different Friday night massacre…

    The 25th amendment. It’s not like it isn’t warranted. Let’s not lose track of the bigger picture:

    -Trump systematically ripped off his contractors and subcontractors and drove multiple businesses into bankruptcy >> Trump proved himself a failed and unethical business person.

    -Trump shook down the Ukrainian government for foreign help in his domestic reelection campaign >> constitutional crisis

    -Trump doubles down on Kushner’s statement that the federal stockpile of ventilators is “ours” and Trump administration policy has proven over the past week to amount to supporting states that support Trump with medical supplies, while jerking non Trump states around and leaving them hanging with medical equipment and supplies and it equals the same tactic he used in Ukraine and in his shady business practice of ripping off contractors and subcontractors >> the greatest failure to protect homeland security in American history.

    -Add to that Trump’s refusal not to look at a global pandemic as a profit opportunity by allowing himself to be lobbied by the Chamber of Commerce and medical equipment manufacturers to squash the real power of the Defense Production Act and allow price gouging and profiteering on medical equipment and supplies.

    Notice a pattern?

    Of course you don’t. This is Turley’s blog after all. S’all good to you guys.

    Here’s the thing though, while you might think Trump has got your back, he sells everyone out. He won’t hesitate to do the same to you.

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