President Trump is reportedly about to clean house at the inspector general level. After defeating the Democratic Party’s shoddy impeachment push in February, it was clear that the administration needed to take a more aggressive approach in removing Obama-era inspector generals who the administration think is just acting as another arm in the deep state war against the Trump White House. They’re not wrong. Susan Crabtree at RealClearPolitics wrote that this is going to happen soon. It’s already begun, with Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence community, being given his pink slip last Friday evening. Atkinson was a key person who set the whole Trump-Ukraine impeachment train rolling, a story that was even shoddier than the Trump-Russia collusion nonsense that engulfed the liberal media for two years. In both stories, there was little direct evidence showing that Trump did anything wrong. There was a lot of liberal hot air and temper tantrums over circumstantial evidence at best—though Democrats did honor a promise to their base: impeaching Trump. Also, this whole circus distracted the administration from the rising Wuhan coronavirus threat, but that’s a tale for another time.
There are several acting Obama IGs are still working and they may soon be hearing two words from Trump in the coming days or weeks: ‘You’re fired’ (Via RCP):
*sorry -- fell swoop...typing quickly. Thanks to those who pointed it out.— Susan Crabtree (@susancrabtree) April 7, 2020
White House officials are taking a critical look at the records of several administration inspectors general, part of the cadre of internal agency watchdogs tasked with serving as the first line of defense against government malfeasance and corruption.
President Trump often refers to government waste as part of the Washington “swamp” he has vowed to drain – but the phrase has also become shorthand for bureaucratic resistance to his agenda and policies. Putting inspectors general, or IGs, under the microscope is the latest push in Trump’s post-impeachment purge of government officials whom the president and his conservative supporters say have worked to undermine his agenda and sabotage political appointees’ efforts to carry it out, several sources familiar with the discussions have told RealClearPolitics.
Trump, more so than other presidents, has made little secret of his distrust of high-profile inspectors general. In a mid-December tweet, the president accused Michael Horowitz, the FBI’s IG, of overlooking bias at the bureau in his final report on the way the agency handled its investigation into alleged Trump campaign ties to Russia. He also reminded the public that Horowitz had been appointed by President Obama.
Heightened monitoring of IG investigations and their findings has yet to lead to anyone’s ouster, but key administration officials and Trump allies are urging the president to do some housecleaning and get rid of Obama-era watchdogs sprinkled throughout the administration. Several acting inspectors general appointed during the Obama administration are still operating at key government agencies, including the Department of Defense and the Treasury Department.
“The federal bureaucracy has gone to war with the Trump administration, and their people have targeted and taken out many Trump’s officials,” a former White House official told RCP.
Yet, while the impeachment nonsense might be part of Trump’s renewed interest in cleaning house, Crabtree noted the reported bo jangling in behalf of Department of Defense Inspector General Glenn Fine, an Obama appointee, over former Trump official Adam Lovinger as one of the main reasons why Trump is looking to get rid of these swampy creatures. She wrote that Lovinger was a former member of the National Security Council, who was removed from the administration, clipped by shoddy allegations that he mishandled classified information. He’s been on paid leave for three years, with no final report being submitted by Fine. Crabtree calls the Lovinger case the cause celebre for Trump’s inner circle regarding removings these IGs.
Of course, this should have been done sooner, but Trump had to issue executive orders on immigration, get tax cuts done, remove red tape, and get the economy restarted after years of anemic growth under Obama. He also had to get border security and the wall done, the latter of which is being done piecemeal, thanks to former Speaker Paul Ryan outright lying to Trump when the former pleaded with the president not to veto an omnibus bill. Ryan promised to get the wall funding date but decided to retire and sit on his hands for the rest of the 2018 cycle.
Trump had a lot to do; we all know this. And it doesn’t help that not many people wanted to work for the man when he won in 2016. Hence, why we had Sally Yates serving as acting attorney general, the first person to fire a deep state salvo by refusing to defend or enforce the president’s executive order on immigration that the liberal media stupidly called the “Muslim ban.” Better late than never for sure, but the damage has been done concerning enacting key parts of this president’s agenda that the American people want. These longtime public servants should elicit suspicion from everyone. The longer you work here, the greater the chance that you’re an enemy of the president. It’s about time we boot these Obamaites and get Trump’s people in there. And no, this isn’t unprecedented. As Elizabeth Vaugh noted at RedState, Reagan cleaned house, firing 13 inspector generals after he pummeled Jimmy Carter in 1980.