US President Donald Trump, on Friday, announced the firing of Inspector General of the US Intelligence Community, who was part of was part of the impeachment probe against him in 2019.
In a letter addressed to key lawmakers, Trump stated that he had planned to dismiss the official Michael Atkinson within 30 days, arguing that it was vital to have the utmost confidence in those appointed to serve as inspector general.
According to him, that was no longer the case about Inspector General of the US Intelligence Community, Atkinson.
A US official revealed that Thomas Monheim, the general counsel of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, would serve as the acting general in the meantime.
Atkinson, who was appointed by the President, had established that the informer’s report was reliable in alleging that President Trump had abused the office by attempting to petition Ukraine’s intrusion in the 2020 US election for his political interests.
According to the Justice Department on legal opinion, Atkinson was also disturbed by the possibility that Trump had exposed himself to severe national security and counter-intelligence jeopardies by imploring Ukrainian Head of State Volodymyr Zelenskiy to probe the Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son during the 25 July 2019 phone call.
After combative, opinionated hearings, the Democratic side of House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump, but the Republican Senate side acquitted him of the charges in February 2020.
The Democrats criticized Trump for firing Atkinson, especially at a time when the Covid-19 crisis is tormenting the country and the whole world.
“In the midst of a national emergency, it is unconscionable that the president is once again attempting to undermine the integrity of the intelligence community by firing yet another intelligence official simply for doing his job,” stated Democratic Senator Mark Warner.
Warner is a ranking Democrat on Senate Intelligence Committee.