Jun 4, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Grassley to hold up pair of nominations until Trump explains IG firings

Chuck Grassley behind a nameplate
Grassley questions Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on June 3 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said on Thursday that he will block the confirmation of two of President Trump's nominees until the White House provides "adequate explanations" for why the inspectors general for the intelligence community and State Department were ousted in the past two months.

Why it matters: It's a rare attempt by a Republican to hold Trump accountable for his recent purge of federal watchdogs. Grassley has long considered himself a defender of inspectors general.

  • In the past two months, Trump has moved to oust Intelligence Community IG Michael Atkinson, State Department IG Steve Linick, acting Pentagon IG Glenn Fine, and acting Health and Human Services IG Christi Grimm.
  • Linick was removed at the recommendation of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Trump told reporters that he has offered to fire any Obama-appointed inspector general.

Details: Grassley said he is refusing to consider the White House nomination of Christopher C. Miller as director of the National Counterterrorism Center. Miller was nominated on May 4.

  • Grassley will also block the nomination of Marshall Billingslea as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, which the White House announced for consideration on May 1.

Go deeper: Top Democrats to investigate ouster of State Department watchdog

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