Note: On Trump’s firing of Michael Atkinson as inspector general of the intelligence community, Lisa Rosenberg, executive director of Open The Government, released the following statement:
Trump’s decision to fire Michael Atkinson is a shameless act of retribution and part of a longstanding pattern of covering up the track record of misconduct by his presidency. Even as the country battles a deadly coronavirus pandemic, attempting to silenceofficials who perform their legally bound duty or whistleblowers who do the right thing stillranks as a high priority for the president.
Only in Trump’s administration is an inspector general of the intelligence community ousted for upholding the law because he processed the Ukraine whistleblower complaint according to his oversight capacity. Atkinson’s firing imperils the impartiality and independence of future inspectorsgeneral and sends a chilling message to whistleblowers who already face significant professional and personal risks coming forward with valid concerns. Congress must not ignore the fact that by removing inspectorsgeneral at whim, Trump is exhibiting further disdain for oversight and the checks and balances that help our democracy function.