Pompeo Declined Interview Request From Inspector General About Saudi Arms Sales

21 Mai, 2020, 02:26 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Pompeo Declined Interview Request From Inspector General About Saudi Arms Sales

Representative Eliot L. Engel, Democrat of NY, who is chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, had asked last June for the inspector general to start an investigation into the arms sales.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday adamantly denied that he recommended firing the State Department's independent watchdog in retaliation for investigations into Pompeo's conduct as the country's top diplomat.

The New York Times reported Tuesday night that the written answers were related to Inspector General Steve Linick's investigation into Pompeo's participation in a Saudi Arabian arms deal.

Allegations to that effect are "patently false", he said. "To the press. This is all coming through the office of Senator Menendez", Pompeo claimed, insisting he was not getting his "ethics guidance from a man who was criminally prosecuted".

The State Department has not commented on whether Linick was investigating tasks performed by Toni Porter, who had served as Pompeo's Wichita-based district director during his tenure in the U.S. House before joining him at the Central Intelligence Agency and State Department.

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"We are closely watching what's going on there", he told a news conference.

As Pompeo dismissed the "crazy stuff" detailed in reports about Linick's inquiries, he claimed that it was "impossible" for him to have acted in retaliation without knowing what investigations were happening.

In October, Linick turned over documents to House investigators that he had received from a State Department counsellor, T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, a close Pompeo associate.

Pompeo rounded off his press conference by reminding reporters of Sen. Questions over possible misuse of taxpayer funds by Mr. Pompeo, including on frequent trips aboard department aircraft to his adopted home state, Kansas, have dogged the secretary for more than a year. Menendez, along with Engel, is spearheading the congressional probe into Linick's firing. Pompeo accused the senator's office of being behind allegations that Linick's ouster was motivated by revenge. Bob Menendez is to blame for stoking controversy about the move. But Pompeo maintained he did not know the scope or scale of the investigation or where it now stands.

The President, at Secretary Pompeo's request, fired the State Department's Inspector General for no apparent reason at the same time the Inspector General was investigating the Secretary. He also played a minor role in the impeachment investigation of Trump's Ukraine foreign policy.

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