According to columnist David Lurie, writing for the Daily Beast, Donald Trump’s purge of inspectors general in the government is an attempt to make sure that he is not be subjected to any embarrassing reports or investigations before the November election.
As Lurie notes, the president has enlisted former bodyman John McEntee, who was previously booted from the White House by former Chief of Staff John Kelly, to purge critics and those considered not loyal to Trump from their posts, and that inspectors general are at the top of the list.
“In the midst of a deadly pandemic, Donald Trump has expanded his war on oversight by attacking the governments’ inspectors general, compounding the damage already done by his unprecedented stonewalling of congressional oversight investigations,” Lurie wrote, before adding that Trump and McEntee are dead set on “targeting IGs as part of a broader effort to purge officials who aren’t sufficiently personally loyal to Trump.”
“That effort might help Trump delay any formal reviews of his failed leadership during the pandemic, or of his administrations’ disbursement of trillions in coronavirus-related spending, until after the November election,” he continued before highlighting the firing of Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community inspector general for turning over to Congress the whistleblower report on Trump’s attempts to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden.
Adding that Trump’s “attacks on the government’s IG infrastructure have been so audacious that they have raised questions among at least some GOP legislators,” Lurie reports, “Additionally, Trump has taken a uniquely recalcitrant approach to congressional investigations. In the Ukraine matter, Trump defied long-standing precedent by refusing to voluntarily comply with nearly all congressional requests for information, and instructed current and former government officials to do the same.”
“In sum, it seems increasingly likely that Trump’s effort to stonewall and otherwise undermine institutional oversight of his own conduct, as well as that of the government officials that report to him, may well largely succeed, at least until after the election,” Lurie warned. ” Even without the ability to force the president’s loyal soldiers to comply with congressional subpoenas, a small number of courageous truth tellers were willing to come forward to tell the truth about Trump’s Ukraine misconduct.”
“Similarly, Trump’s efforts to fully obfuscate and deny the catastrophic nature of his response to the pandemic do appear to be failing,” he added. “Journalists, health-care workers, and state and local officials are seeking to ensure that many of the critical facts come to light. Hopefully, their efforts to inform the public will continue to bear fruit, and Trump will not succeed in hiding the truth. It is crucial that, when voters go to the ballot box (or mailbox) in November, the scope of Trump’s catastrophic failure is known, even if all of the relevant information has yet to be exposed.”
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