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Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The State Department's independent watchdog found that former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo violated federal ethics rules when he and his wife asked department employees to perform personal tasks on more than 100 occasions, including picking up their dog and making private dinner reservations.

Why it matters: The report comes as Pompeo pours money into a new political group amid speculation about a possible 2024 presidential run.

What they're saying: "OIG found evidence of over 100 requests to Department employees that are inconsistent with the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch or raised questions about the proper use of Department resources," the State Department’s inspector general found as first reported by Politico.

  • "These requests from the Pompeos, which fell into three broad categories —requests to pick up personal items, planning of events unrelated to the Department’s mission, and miscellaneous personal requests — had no apparent connection to the official business of the Department."
  • Examples included taking care of their dog, helping write a letter of recommendation for a medical school application, booking salon appointments and making private dinner reservations, per the report.

Pompeo's attorney denied the allegations against his client and called the report "false."

  • “The poor quality of the report bespeaks not merely unprofessionalism in its drafting but also bias, which we are concerned may be politically motivated," Pompeo's lawyer, William Burck, said in a response appended to the report.

What's next: The report did not call for any disciplinary action against Pompeo because he is no longer in office, but did recommend steps the State Department should take to "mitigate the risk of future senior leaders committing similar violations."

Go deeper

Scoop: Mike Pompeo pours cash into new PAC bearing his slogan

Michael Pompeo, former U.S. Secretary of State, speaks during a breakfast with the Westside Conservative Club in Urbandale, Iowa, on Friday, March 26, 2021 (Rachel Mummey/Bloomberg)

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is pouring money into a new political group amid speculation about a possible 2024 presidential run, records show.

Why it matters: Champion American Values, formed in February, is the same phrase that Pompeo has been using lately including during remarks last month to an influential group of Republicans in Iowa, seen as a clear sign he's considering a 2024 bid.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

British national named in Colleyville synagogue standoff

A law enforcement vehicle sits near the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on Jan. 16. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

British national Malik Faisal Akram took four people hostage at a Texas synagogue outside Fort Worth on Saturday, the FBI said in a statement.

State of play: Authorities had initially declined to release the name of the 44-year-old suspect or identify the hostages, all adults, though police chief Michael Miller confirmed that one of those held was Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, who leads the congregation.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines — Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron — WHO recommends 2 new treatments — What "mild" really means when it comes to Omicron — Deaths are climbing as cases skyrocket.
  2. Vaccines: America's vaccination drive runs out of gas— Puerto Rico expands booster shot requirements— Supreme Court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for large employers.
  3. Politics: Vivek Murthy calls SCOTUS vaccine mandate block "a setback for public health" — Focus group says Biden weak on COVID response, strong on democracy
  4. Economy: America's labor shortage is bigger than the pandemic— — CDC COVID guidance for cruise ships to be optional starting Saturday — The cost of testing.
  5. States: West Virginia governor feeling "extremely unwell" after positive test — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers — America struggles to keep schools open
  6. World: Beijing reports first local Omicron case weeks before Winter Olympics — Teachers in France stage mass walkout over COVID protocols.
  7. Variant tracker