President Donald Trump has forced out the Intelligence Community Inspector General who shared the whistleblower complaint with Congress, which led to Democrats impeaching the president, who was acquitted in the Senate.
Michael Atkinson, the Intelligence Community Inspector General, will leave his post in 30 days and will be the latest casualty of Trump’s war on disloyal people within his administration. Trump was the one who appointed Atkinson.
As The Daily Wire reported last September, Atkinson determined a vague whistleblower complaint about Trump making a “promise” to a world leader was of “urgent concern” and sent the complaint to congress. Then-Acting Direct of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire, however, said he was not required by law to turn the complaint over to congressional Democrats, who were looking for anything they could use to impeach Trump.
Maguire didn’t turn the complaint over because it was a rumor told to the whistleblower, who hadn’t listened in on the phone call between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. The whistleblower filed his complaint 18 days after the allegedly egregious phone call.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) announced Democrats would open an impeachment inquiry before any hard evidence was released. The next day, Trump released a transcript of the phone call between him and Zelensky, which showed the president asking the Ukraine leader to cooperate with U.S. investigations into corruption in Ukraine. Trump also mentioned Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son’s lucrative job with a Ukraine energy company despite having no qualifications for the job.
This launched a months-long “investigation” into Trump and his alleged withholding of aid to Ukraine. Zelensky said he was not aware the aid was withheld and that Trump never demanded he look into the Bidens in exchange for the money. Further, Trump had withheld foreign aid from many countries – including Ukraine – before for various legitimate reasons.
In the end, Democrats impeached Trump in the House. They then waited nearly a month to turn over the articles of impeachment to the senate, even though they claimed removing Trump was urgent and necessary. They then staged a “somber” delivery of the articles as members of the party tried to keep from smiling as cameras rolled.
Democrats then demanded Republicans in the Senate call more witnesses than the House did, which the Senate refused. The Senate acquitted Trump after a short trial.
Trump informed congress of his decision to fire Atkinson in a letter sent Friday night and obtained by CNN.
“As is the case with regard to other positions where I, as President, have the power of appointment … it is vital that I have the fullest confidence in the appointees serving as inspectors general,” Trump wrote. “That is no longer the case with regard to this Inspector General.”
Though Atkinson won’t officially leave his post for 30 days, he has been put on administrative leave effective immediately, a congressional source told CNN.
Trump previously had removed several other people who worked against him on impeachment.
“Atkinson’s firing is the latest case of the Trump administration removing officials who took part in the President’s impeachment. Trump also removed Alexander Vindman, a then-National Security Council official who had testified in the House’s proceedings, along with Vindman’s twin brother, both of whom were reassigned out of the NSC, and fired then-US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland,” CNN reported. “Other officials, including then-US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and her acting successor, Bill Taylor, left the Trump administration after the impeachment proceedings.”
Trump has the authority to fire people in his administration at will, and is trying to ensure the people who work for him carry out his agenda instead of their own.