Apr 9, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Bipartisan group of senators demands explanation from Trump on IG firing

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) arrives to a Senate GOP lunch meeting in the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill March 20, 2020 in Washington, DC.

Sen. Chuck Grassley on Capitol Hill in March. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A bipartisan group of senators led by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent President Trump a letter on Wednesday asking for a "detailed written explanation" on why he fired Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community's inspector general.

What they're saying: "Congress intended that inspectors general only be removed when there is clear evidence of wrongdoing or failure to perform the duties of the office, and not for reasons unrelated to their performance, to help preserve IG independence," states the letter, signed by eight senators.

  • It also notes the president "appears to have circumvented" Congress and the required 30-day notice to the congressional intelligence committees by "placing the IG on 30 days of administrative leave and naming an acting replacement."

The big picture: Trump told Congress last Friday he had lost confidence in Atkinson.

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