On Friday, President Trump fired Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the U.S intelligence community who informed Congress about the whistleblower complaint regarding President Trump's July 25 phone call to Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky. The complaint made false representations based on second and third-hand information which served as the basis for the impeachment inquiry launched by House Democrats.
Democrats have denounced Trump's firing of Atkinson and accused the president of silencing those willing to speak truth to power.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman and former Lead Impeachment Manager Adam Schiff (D-CA) posted a copy of a White House letter explaining the reasoning behind Atkinson's dismissal.
"As is the case with regard to other positions where I, as President, have the power of appointment, by and with advice and consent of the Senate, 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," the letter states.
The Associated Press reports that career intelligence professional Tom Monheim is expected to be named acting inspector general for the intelligence community following Atkinson's departure effective next month.
It was reported in January that Atkinson was under investigation by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee over his handling of the whistleblower complaint.
Atkinson gave closed-door testimony during the House impeachment inquiry, testimony that Chairman Schiff and committee Democrats didn't release. According to Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX), Atkinson's testimony reveals that Chairman Adam Schiff and the so-called whistleblower lied about their interaction with one another in regard to the complaint.