The revelation comes after House Foreign Affairs President Eliot Engel said the State Department inspector fired on Friday evening by President Donald Trump, Steve Linick,
he had almost completed an investigation into Pompey’s controversial decision to expedite the arms sale itself. CNN previously reported that Pompey had refused to take an interview as part of the investigation.
“I learned that there may be another reason for Mr. Linick’s dismissal. His office was investigating – at my request – Trump’s false declaration of an emergency so that he could send weapons to Saudi Arabia,” Engel, a New York Democrat said in a statement to CNN on Monday.
“We don’t have a complete picture yet, but it’s worrying that Secretary Pompeo wanted Mr. Linick to be expelled before this job could be completed.”
Pompeo told the Washington Post on Monday that he asked Trump to remove Linick because the independent watchdog was “undermining” the department and was not performing in a way that the tallest American diplomat wanted him to do. He did not go into details of what particularly displeased him about Linick’s work performance.
“I went to the President and made it clear to him that Inspector General Linick was not performing a function in a way we had tried to do it, which was additive to the State Department, very consistent with what the statute says it is supposed to do. “he told Swiss Post. “The kind of business it should undertake to make us better, to improve us.”
Last May, the Trump administration declared an emergency to get around Congress and accelerate billions of dollars in arms sales to various countries – including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – citing the need to discourage what it called Iran’s “malign influence” across the Middle East.
“These sales will support our allies, improve stability in the Middle East and help these nations dissuade and defend themselves from the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Pompeo said in a statement at the time, which established a sales value of $ 8. , 1 billion.
But the move sparked a bipartisan condemnation, with lawmakers denouncing the precedent it would set.
CNN previously reported that Linick was also investigating whether Pompeo had a staff perform a variety of personal errands, including walking his dog, picking up the dry cleaning, and booking a dinner for him and his wife, according to a Democratic helper.
However, Pompeo claimed that he was unaware that Linick was investigating him when he recommended removing the IG.
According to Swiss Post, it only knew of one case “which concerned a national security issue”.
“It is not possible that this decision, or my recommendation, rather, to the President, rather, was based on any retaliatory effort for any ongoing or ongoing investigation,” said Pompeo.
“Because I simply don’t know. I’m not informed. Usually I see these investigations in the final draft 24 hours, 48 hours, before the IG is ready to release them.”
CNN’s Zachary Cohen, Jennifer Hansler, Nicole Gaouette and Kylie Atwood contributed to this report.