President Donald Trump has fired the man who notified Congress that a whistleblower had concerns about a telephone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Trump notified both the House and Senate intelligence committees Friday about his decision to fire Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) Michael Atkinson, who precipitated an impeachment inquiry when he relayed anonymous whistleblower testimony that the president’s conversation with Zelensky sought an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden in return for delivering military assistance.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who led the impeachment inquiry, revealed the contents of the letter on his Twitter account. He wrote, “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.”
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.
It puts our country and national security at even greater risk. pic.twitter.com/Pnm7chdIkl
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) April 4, 2020
Trump’s letter reads: “It is extremely important that we promote the economy, efficiency, and the effectiveness of Federal programs and activities. The Inspectors General have a critical role in the achievement of these goals.” (RELATED: Ratcliffe Says He Knows The Reason Schiff Won’t Release ICIG’s Transcript)
“As is the case with regard to other positions where I, as President, have the power of appointment, by and with the 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,” Trump wrote.