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Mike Pompeo. Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Former Inspector General Steve Linick told Congress he was conducting five investigations into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the State Department before he was fired, transcript released Wednesday shows.

Why it matters: Three of the investigations – a review of the International Women of Courage Award, a special immigrant visa program audit and a prove "involving individuals in the Office of the Protocol" — had not been disclosed publicly until House Democrats released the transcript from Linick's June 3 closed-door interview.

  • It emerged after Trump fired him at Pompeo's recommendation on May 15 that Linick was conducting investigations including on allegations of staff misuse. Pompeo has called the claims leveled against him "unsubstantiated."
  • Three congressional committees are investigating whether Pompeo had Linick fired in retaliation for his inquiries.

What's new: Linick declined to answer questions on the five investigations and said he "would have no indication one way or the other" as to whether his replacement continued the probes.

  • He alleged that a senior State Department official, who assisted Pompeo in bypassing a congressional freeze on arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates pressured him to drop an investigation into the matter.
  • However, Linick said that he was never influenced by State Department leadership on any investigation and no one obstructed him on the Saudi Arms Sale probe.
  • Linick also said he was given "no valid reason" for his removal.

The other side: The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But on Tuesday, the department wrote to the inspectors general council chair asking for an investigation into Linick and a "disturbing pattern of leaks," per ABC News.

  • Pompeo has said Linick "wasn’t performing a function in a way that we had tried to get him to," though he didn't specify a reason.
  • The secretary of state argued that his request to Trump could not have been an act of retaliation because he wasn't aware he was being investigated.

Go deeper

Aug 26, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Pompeo lauds Trump for "bold initiatives in every corner of the world"

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during his speech at the Republican National Convention Tuesday evening that he believes President Trump "has led bold initiatives in nearly every corner of the world" that have kept the U.S. safe.

The big picture: Pompeo's decision to deliver his speech from Jerusalem breaks from the precedent of America's top diplomats staying out of partisan battles — which has spurred an investigation for a possible violation of the Hatch Act.

Updated 33 mins ago - Sports

Simone Biles won't compete in individual vault or uneven bars Olympic finals

Photo: Loic Venance/AFP via Getty Images

Simone Biles will not compete in the individual vault or uneven bars finals at the Tokyo Olympics, USA Gymnastics announced Friday.

Why it matters: USA Gymnastics said Biles, who previously withdrew from the individual all-around and team finals to prioritize her mental health, will continue to be evaluated to determine if she'll compete in the balance beam or floor exercise events.

50 mins ago - Sports

American Katie Ledecky wins Olympic gold in women's 800m freestyle

USA's Katie Ledecky reacts after taking gold in the final of the women's 800m freestyle race. Photo: Odd Anderson/AFP via Getty Images

American superstar swimmer Katie Ledecky grabbed her second gold medal of this year's Olympic Games, winning the women's 800-meter freestyle race Saturday in Tokyo.

Driving the news: Ledecky, who holds the world record in the 800m freestyle, is considered one of the best women swimmers of all time. Saturday's final marks her third straight Olympic gold in the event.