Tag Archives: vows

Top U.S. watchdog vows ‘aggressive’ oversight of Trump administration after intel firing

Top U.S. watchdog vows ‘aggressive’ oversight of Trump administration after intel firing
2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Intelligence Community Inspector General Atkinson arrives to testify at a House Intelligence Committee closed-door hearing on a whistleblower complaint about President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, on Capitol Hill in Washington 2/2

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top U.S. federal watchdog vowed on Saturday to continue to conduct “aggressive” independent oversight of government agencies, after President Donald Trump fired the inspector general of the U.S. intelligence community late Friday night.

Michael Horowitz, chair of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE), an independent agency in the executive branch and the inspector general at the Department of Justice, said in a statement that Michael Atkinson was known for his “integrity, professionalism, and commitment to the rule of law and independent oversight.”

President Donald Trump wrote in a letter to Congress Friday night that Atkinson, who was involved in triggering an impeachment probe of the president last year, will be removed from his position in 30 days.

The firing comes as U.S. inspectors general, who are charged with independent oversight of federal agencies, were recently tasked with broad surveillance of the government’s response to the coronavirus, including the historic $2.3 trillion fiscal package to mitigate its economic impact.

“The inspector general community will continue to conduct aggressive, independent oversight of the agencies that we oversee,” said Horowitz.

“This includes CIGIE’s Pandemic Response Accountability Committee and its efforts on behalf of American taxpayers, families, businesses, patients, and health care providers to ensure that over $2 trillion dollars in emergency federal spending is being used consistently with the law’s mandate.”

Democrats have expressed concerns about how the fiscal package will be doled out through the U.S. Treasury, headed by Steven Mnuchin. “We’re not here to create a slush fund for Donald Trump and his family, or a slush fund for the Treasury Department to be able to hand out to their friends,” said U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

The watchdogs’ role in the coronavirus oversight is to examine the decision-making process, and provide the public information about where the taxpayer dollars and other resources go.

Atkinson, a Trump appointee, had determined that a whistleblower’s report was credible in alleging Trump abused his office in attempting to solicit Ukraine’s interference in the 2020 U.S. election for his political benefit.

Trump said Friday Atkinson no longer had his “fullest confidence.”

Atkinson expressed concerned that Trump potentially exposed himself to “serious national security and counter-intelligence risks” when he pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden and his son during a July 25 phone call, according to a Justice Department legal opinion.

Trump is trying to scare the watchdog community, Adam Schiff, a California Democrat and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee told MSNBC Saturday morning.

“He’s decapitating the leadership of the intelligence community in the middle of a national crisis,” he said. “It’s unconscionable, and of course it sends a message throughout the federal government and particular to other inspectors general.”

After contentious, partisan hearings, the Democratic-led House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump but the Republican-led Senate acquitted him of the charges in early February.

Source : Reuters Link

UK vows to ‘massively’ increase virus testing amid criticism

UK vows to ‘massively’ increase virus testing amid criticism Political opponents, scientists and even usually supportive newspapers are lambasting British Prime Minister Boris Johnson over his government’s broken promises on testing for the COVID-19 virus Source : Link read more

After Pritzker’s TV and Twitter taunts, Trump vows to send Illinois ventilators, masks

After Pritzker’s TV and Twitter taunts, Trump vows to send Illinois ventilators, masks Gov. J.B. Pritzker, left, announces a shelter in place order on Friday; President Donald Trump, right, speaks about the coronavirus Monday in Washington. | Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times; Alex … read more

Mnuchin vows ‘we’re going to get this done’ after coronavirus bill blocked

Mnuchin vows ‘we’re going to get this done’ after coronavirus bill blocked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday vowed that the Trump administration and lawmakers on Capitol Hill are “going to get this done,” after a massive coronavirus response bill was … read more

Coronavirus Live Updates: Global Leaders Beg Public to Stay Home; Fed Vows to Buy as Much Debt as Needed – The New York Times

Coronavirus Live Updates: Global Leaders Beg Public to Stay Home; Fed Vows to Buy as Much Debt as Needed – The New York Times 新冠病毒疫情最新消息 Here’s what you need to know: India extends its lockdown to cover almost the entire … read more

Democracy 2020 Digest: Biden, blasting Trump, vows dueling daily briefing during coronavirus crisis

Democracy 2020 Digest: Biden, blasting Trump, vows dueling daily briefing during coronavirus crisis Joe Biden’s coronavirus plan: What’s in it? The Trump Administration’s response to coronavirus has been criticized by both Democratic Presidential candidates. Here is how former VP Joe … read more

McConnell vows ‘historic injection’ of aid to save small businesses in face of coronavirus

McConnell vows ‘historic injection’ of aid to save small businesses in face of coronavirus Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., vowed Wednesday that the Senate will not rest until it passes legislation to help Americans facing the economic effects of the … read more

McConnell vows to keep Senate in session until ‘major’ coronavirus response package passed

McConnell vows to keep Senate in session until ‘major’ coronavirus response package passed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday the Senate will stay in session until it passes “major legislation” to address the coronavirus crisis beyond the House’s bipartisan proposal. … read more