President Donald Trump late Friday informed Congress that he intends to remove State Department Inspector General Steve Linick.
“It is vital that I have the fullest confidence in the appointees serving as Inspectors General.” Trump said in a letter sent late Friday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “That is no longer the case with regard to this Inspector General.”
The dismissal is effective in 30 days, according to the letter, which was first reported on by Politico. Trump did not mention Linick by name in his letter.
Linick, an Obama appointee, had served in the role since 2013. Previously, he served as the first inspector general of the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Prior to that, he supervised fraud cases at the Department of Justice.
Linicks office investigated former Secretary of State Hillary Clintons use of a private email server in 2016. A May 2016 report (pdf) concluded that Clinton had violated federal rules but also noted that there existed “systemic weaknesses,” and made eight recommendations to the State Department at the time.
A State Department spokesperson confirmed Linicks dismissal and said that Ambassador Stephen Akard will replace Linick in an acting capacity.
“On Sept. 11, 2019, Ambassador Akard was confirmed by the Senate, 90-2, to lead the Departments Office of Foreign Missions and we look forward to him leading the Office of the Inspector General,” the spokesperson said in a statement to media outlets.
The department did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.
Akard was previously a career foreign service officer with the Department of State, holding various positions, including serving as a special assistant to Secretary of State Colin Powell in the Executive Secretariat; as a political officer and general services officer at the U.S. Embassy in Brussels; and as a consular officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai.
Immediately prior to his role as the director of the State Departments Office of Foreign Missions, he held various roles at the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, and served as the senior foreign affairs adviser to Govs. Mitch Daniels, Mike Pence, and Eric Holcomb.
In April, Trump notified Congress that he would fire Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence community (ICIG) who handled the anonymous whistleblower complaint that triggered the House Democratic-led impeachment inquiry against Trump.