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Politics Two Democrats roll out bill to protect inspectors general from politically motivated firing

01:25  10 april  2020
01:25  10 april  2020 Source:   thehill.com

Trump fires intelligence community inspector general

  Trump fires intelligence community inspector general The president has formally notified the Senate Intelligence Committee of the move.Trump formally notified the Senate Intelligence Committee of his intention to fire Atkinson and remove him from his duties, to take effect 30 days from Friday, according to two congressional officials and a copy of the letter obtained by Politico dated April 3.

Chris Murphy, D-Conn., introduced a bill Thursday that would protect inspectors general from politically motivated firings Cooper called the action against the inspectors general "reckless and appears to be political retaliation," adding State Democrats sought to delay the contest but failed.

While those broader firings never occurred, Trump has maintained his suspicion of IGs throughout During his time in office, Trump has tweeted more than 25 times about various inspectors general "Few Americans know what an Inspector General is, but we all suffer when they are punished for

A pair of Democratic lawmakers unveiled legislation on Thursday to protect inspectors general (IG) from politically motivated firings.

Chris Murphy wearing a suit and tie: Two Democrats roll out bill to protect inspectors general from politically motivated firing © Bonnie Cash Two Democrats roll out bill to protect inspectors general from politically motivated firing

The bill - which was sponsored by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) in the and Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) - would give Senate-confirmed agency watchdogs a tenure of seven years in office.

Under the bill, the inspectors general could only be removed from office before the end of that term for "permanent incapacity, inefficiency, neglect of duty, malfeasance, or conviction of a felony or conduct involving moral turpitude."

Democrats slam Trump’s ‘dead of night’ decision to fire intelligence community IG

  Democrats slam Trump’s ‘dead of night’ decision to fire intelligence community IG Democrats reacted furiously to President Trump’s decision to fire Michael Atkinson, the Inspector General of the Intelligence community."Trump’s dead of night decision to fire ICIG Michael Atkinson is another blatant attempt to gut the independence of the Intelligence Community and retaliate against those who dare to expose presidential wrongdoing," said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who chairs the House Intelligence Committee.

The House passed a bill Thursday afternoon aimed at shoring up protections for those with pre-existing health conditions, part of Democrats ' plans for protecting the Affordable Care Act under the Trump administration.

Democratic lawmakers are questioning whether recent employee moves by O'Rourke at VA headquarters are politically motivated and in WASHINGTON — A group of House Democrats is calling for the Office of Special Counsel to launch a full investigation into acting Veterans Affairs

"We simply cannot allow President Trump to weaponize independent oversight positions in his administration to reward his friends, punish his political enemies, and cover up wrongdoing," Murphy said in a statement

Cooper added the removal of the inspectors general "without just cause is reckless and appears to be political retaliation."

The legislation comes after President Trump's decision to sideline multiple inspectors general within his administration has sent shockwaves through Washington.

Eight senators - including Republicans Susan Collins (Maine), Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and Mitt Romney (Utah) -sent a letter to Trump on Wednesday asking him to turn over a more detailed reasoning for his decision to fire Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, saying the brief letter he sent the House and Senate Intelligence Committees did not meet legal requirements.

Trump defends decision to fire Ukraine watchdog Michael Atkinson, despite bipartisan concerns

  Trump defends decision to fire Ukraine watchdog Michael Atkinson, despite bipartisan concerns Trump notified Congress Friday that he fired the inspector general who informed Congress about a whistleblower complaint about over his Ukraine call.The president notified Congress on Friday that he fired Michael Atkinson, the inspector general who informed Congress about an anonymous whistleblower complaint that described Trump’s pressure on Ukraine to investigate Democrat Joe Biden. The complaint led to Trump’s impeachment and ultimately his acquittal in the Senate.

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De Blasio: 'Our work is just beginning' Jump to media player Bill de Blasio has made a victory speech in New York City after winning the race to be mayor, he said Politico reporter Elizabeth Titus told BBC Radio 5 live's Up All Night: "It certainly bolstered the case for those Democrats arguing that there was

"Congressional intent is clear that an expression of lost confidence, without further explanation, is not sufficient to fulfill the requirements of the statute," they wrote, adding that they want to confirm there were "clear, substantial reasons" for Atkinson's removal.

Trump defended the decision to fire Atkinson during a press conference on Saturday, calling Atkinson a "disgrace" who did a "terrible job." Atkinson, who handled the whistleblower complaint at the center of the impeachment inquiry, said in a statement that he believed Trump fired him for carrying out his "legal obligations."

In addition to firing Atkinson, Trump named new inspectors general for the Department of Education, Central Intelligence Agency and Department of Defense.

He also nominated someone to fill a new IG position to oversee funds tied to the coronavirus relief legislation, replacing Glenn Fine, who had served as the acting Pentagon IG for roughly four years and been named by a group of his peers on the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency to lead the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee.

Murphy said on Tuesday that he was drafting the legislation amid reports that Trump would replace a total of seven IGs.

"This is getting ridiculous," he tweeted. "I'm drafting legislation to give all Inspectors General protected 7 year terms. Sound like a good idea?"

Grassley, in bipartisan letter, seeks 'detailed' explanation from Trump on IG firing .
GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley and a bipartisan group of fellow senators are calling on President Trump to provide a "detailed" written explanation.In a letter to Trump, Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sens. Mitt Romney, R-Utah; Susan Collins, R-Maine; Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; Mark Warner, D-Va.; Jon Tester, D-Mont.; Ron Wyden, D-Ore.; and Gary Peters, D-Mich., raised concerns over Trump’s recent firing of ICIG Michael Atkinson, who played a key role in the impeachment saga.

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