Podcasts

The Lawfare Podcast: Firing Inspectors General

By Jen Patja Howell
Tuesday, May 19, 2020, 4:30 PM

President Trump on Friday fired the inspector general of the State Department. It was the fourth time he had fired or removed an inspector general in just the last six weeks. As he explained in a letter to Capitol Hill leadership, he had lost confidence in the inspector general, though Democrats were quick to point out that he appeared to be investigating Mike Pompeo on a number of matters, and Mike Pompeo, in turn, had requested his removal.

To discuss the Trump administration's removals of inspectors general, Benjamin Wittes spoke with Mike Bromwich, who was the inspector general of the Justice Department during the Clinton administration; Jack Goldsmith, professor at Harvard, who wrote a piece on Lawfare about the legality of removals of inspectors general; and congressional guru Margaret Taylor, who examines the congressional reaction to the moves. They talked about many aspects of the controversy: Is this unprecedented? When have prior presidents removed inspectors general? And what, if anything is Congress going to do about it?

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