Fired IG Was Investigating Pompeo’s $8 Billion Fast Track Arms Sale To Saudis Says Democrats
House Democrats are saying that the fired State Department IG was looking into $8 billion in arms sales being fast-tracked by Sec. Pompeo. According to House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman, Rep. Eliot Engel, Inspector General, Steve Linick, was about to conclude his investigation into the matter when he was fired by President Trump. Engel told CNN on Monday, “I have learned that there may be another reason for Mr. Linick’s firing. His office was investigating — at my request — Trump’s phony declaration of an emergency so he could send weapons to Saudi Arabia. We don’t have the full picture yet, but it’s troubling that Secretary Pompeo wanted Mr. Linick pushed out before this work could be completed.”
— Molly Jong-Fast? (@MollyJongFast) May 18, 2020
An emergency was claimed in order to go around Congress last May so the Trump administration could sell billions in arms to many countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The reasoning behind the rush was to combat what the administration called “the malign influence” of Iran in the region. Pompeo said of the $8.1 billion sales, “These sales will support our allies, enhance Middle East stability, and help these nations to deter and defend themselves from the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
The maneuvering alarmed both sides of the aisle as many worried about what kind of precedent it could set. Saudi Arabia’s human rights violations are also a concern. Engel is alleging that Pompeo pushed for Linick’s firing in order to stop his investigation into how the Secretary of State handled the deal.
This will no doubt bring on a lot of scrutiny of Trump’s firing of another watchdog who was looking into his administration.