President Trump has removed the inspector general tasked with overseeing how the federal government's coronavirus relief package is spent.
After Trump signed $2.2 trillion in federal spending, a panel of inspectors general from across Cabinet departments were tasked with ensuring it was distributed and spent as intended. The panel chose Defense Department Inspector General Glenn Fine as its chair, but Trump ousted him from the department on Monday, thus removing him from the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee.
News of Fine's ouster started circulating Tuesday, and a Pentagon spokesperson confirmed he was removed both from office and the committee to Politico. Michael Bromwich, a Justice Department inspector general under former President Bill Clinton, declared it "the latest step in the president's wholesale assault on the inspector general community" in a tweet.
Trump has since designated EPA Inspector General Sean O'Donnell as the Pentagon's temporary IG and head of the accountability committee, and nominated Jason Abend, a senior policy adviser at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, to fill Fine's role. The panel of inspectors general will be able to select a new chair to oversee the massive spending bill soon.