Inspector General’s Firing Puts Pompeo’s Use of Taxpayer Funds Under Scrutiny… Had staffer walk dog, handle dry cleaning?

Inspector General’s Firing Puts Pompeo’s Use of Taxpayer Funds Under Scrutiny

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo swatted away questions about his use of government resources again and again last year.

In January, news reports cited unnamed diplomats complaining about his wife, Susan, traveling with him across the Middle East during a partial government shutdown.

In the summer, members of Congress began examining a whistle-blower complaint accusing Mr. Pompeo of asking diplomatic security agents to run errands like picking up restaurant takeout meals and retrieving the family dog, Sherman, from a groomer.

And in October, a Democratic senator called for a special counsel to investigate his use of State Department aircraft and funds for frequent visits to Kansas, where he was reported to be considering a Senate run.

In each case, Mr. Pompeo or other department officials denied wrongdoing, and the secretary moved on unscathed. But his record is now coming under fresh scrutiny after President Trump told Congress on Friday night that he was firing the State Department inspector general — at Mr. Pompeo’s private urging, a White House official said.

 

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Inspector general was examining whether Pompeo had staffer walk dog, handle dry cleaning, official says

WASHINGTON – The State Department inspector general fired by President Donald Trump was looking into allegations that a staffer for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was performing domestic errands and chores such as handling dry cleaning, walking the family dog and making restaurant reservations, said a congressional official familiar with the matter.

Steve Linick, the quasi-independent watchdog whose job it is to expose waste and malfeasance within the agency, investigated a number of issues at the State Department that agitated senior Trump administration officials, but it remains unclear what specifically triggered his ouster Friday night.

The congressional official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the matter remains highly sensitive, said the State Department staffer was a political appointee and that at least one congressional committee learned of the allegations around the time of Linick’s firing.

Congressional Democrats are investigating whether Linick’s firing was an effort to shut down the investigation, the official said.

 

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