Last week, Sen. Charles Grassley said that he and a democratic colleague are working on legislation that would restrict who could be named acting inspector general. The announcement came a few days after President Trump fired State Department watchdog Steve Linick.
Grassley, a longtime advocate for whistleblowers, penned a letter to Trump demanding the President to explain his reasoning for firing Linick.
Trump told Congress he “no longer” had the “fullest confidence” in Linick. According to Grassley, “Congress’s intent is clear that an expression of lost confidence, without further explanation, is not sufficient to fulfill the requirements of the IG Reform Act.”
Furthermore, appointing a political figure as an acting IG may discourage whistleblowing, Grassley continued.
“Removal of IGs without explanation could create a chilling effect in the oversight community, and risks decreasing the quantity, quality, fidelity, and veracity of their reports,” Grassley stated.
In his letter to Trump, Grassley noted that whistleblowers are “the ultimate swamp drainers.”