Schiff Explodes After Trump Fires Intelligence IG Who Told Congress Of Ukraine Call
Schiff says Actions 'puts our country and national security at even greater risk'
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff reacted to President Donald Trump's firing of Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the U.S. intelligence community who raised concerns with Congress about Trump's phone call with Ukraine which led to his impeachment.
In a letter dated Friday, Trump formally notified the intelligence committees of both the Senate and House.
Schiff tweet posts Trump's letter saying his actions "puts our country and national security at even greater risk."
"This is to advise that I am exercising my power as President to remove from office the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, effective 30 days from today," the president wrote.
"It is extremely important that we promote the economy, efficiency, and the effectiveness of Federal programs and activities."
"The Inspectors General have a critical role in the achievement of these goals," the president continued.
"As is the case with regard to other positions where I, as President, have the power of appointment, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, it is vital that I have the fullest confidence in the appointees serving as Inspectors General. That is no longer the case with regard to this Inspector General."
Trump added he would nominate a replacement "who has my full confidence and who meets the appropriate qualifications," at a later time.
An intelligence official who requested anonymity told The Associated Press that Tom Monheim would be named acting inspector general for the intelligence community.
Democrats exploded over Trump's action.
"Trump’s dead of night decision to fire ICIG Michael Atkinson is another blatant attempt to gut the independence of the Intelligence Community and retaliate against those who dare to expose presidential wrongdoing."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., also blasted Trump calling it "a brazen act against a patriotic public servant who has honorably performed his duty to protect the Constitution and our national security, as required by the law and by his oath."
Trump’s dead of night decision to fire ICIG Michael Atkinson is another blatant attempt to gut the independence of the Intelligence Community and retaliate against those who dare to expose presidential wrongdoing.— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) April 4, 2020
It puts our country and national security at even greater risk. pic.twitter.com/Pnm7chdIkl
“This latest act of reprisal against the Intelligence Community threatens to have a chilling effect against all willing to speak truth to power," Pelosi continued.
"The President must immediately cease his attacks on those who sacrifice to keep America safe, particularly during this time of national emergency.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also condemned Trump's actions:
"Whether it's LTC Vindman, Captain Crozier, or Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson: President Trump fires people for telling the truth."
"Michael Atkinson is a man of integrity who has served our nation for almost two decades," he added in a second post.
"Being fired for having the courage to speak truth to power makes him a patriot."
Michael Horowitz also criticized the removal of Atkinson and defended his handling of the Ukraine case.
“Inspector General Atkinson is known throughout the Inspector General community for his integrity, professionalism, and commitment to the rule of law and independent oversight,” Horowitz told the AP.