A leading House Democrat is demanding that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stop and pay info on the alleged mistreatment of career employees with the State Department.
In a letter, Rep. Eliot Engel of recent York even is the term for Pompeo’s aggressiveness within the Benghazi investigation while he was a congressman to chide him for acting slowly now.
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“I remain deeply concerned that Trump administration appointees at the State Department have targeted career employees based on national origin or perceived political beliefs,” Engel writes from the letter, dated Monday and obtained by POLITICO. He insists that Pompeo at least deliver after soon a timeline whenever the material will be presented to lawmakers.
Engel is a ranking individual in your house Foreign Affairs Committee. In March, a whistleblower gave him along with lawmakers a batch of emails that gave the impression to show President Donald Trump’s political appointees on the State Department talking to conservative media and political figures about methods of sideline some civil servants and Foreign Service officers for questionable reasons.
Civil servants and Foreign Service officers are meant to be nonpartisan government officials who implement the policies of whichever administration is running the White House, where there are laws intended to protect them from being unfairly targeted for dismissal.
The staffers who drew Trump aides’ attention included Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, an Iran expert who joined the civil service within the George W. Bush administration. Trump appointees pushed Nowrouzzadeh from a prestigious State Department post after articles about her appeared in conservative media. Your email exchanged because of the Trump-appointed officials included a minumum of one that claimed – falsely – that Nowrouzzadeh came to be in Iran.
Nowrouzzadeh’s case was first reported by POLITICO in April 2017.
After obtaining the whistleblower’s material, Democrats demanded which the State Department spend all relevant documents about Nowrouzzadeh yet others. In lieu of sharing that material, the department informed the lawmakers in April that this issue ended up referred for investigation on the State Department’s Office of Inspector General together with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel.
Engel’s letter notes that during a shape prior to a House committee on May 23, Pompeo promised to deliver a period to lawmakers by the end of that week installation of when additional documents is given to Congress. That timeline was never delivered, Engel states.
According to Engel’s letter, administration officials have told the congressman’s staffers that handing over material to lawmakers could jeopardize the investigations because of the Office of Special Counsel plus the inspector general, as both versions are based in the executive branch.
“I don’t accept this explanation,” Engel writes to Pompeo. “No law or policy exists, to my knowledge, that is going to steer clear of the department from earning the requested documents while other investigations go forward.”
In an announcement late Monday, spokeswoman Heather Nauert said nys Department “takes these allegations and even requests by people Congress seriously.”
Nauert insisted, however: “We have handled this matter through all proper channels. We now have communicated with Hill staff, when the secretary said we will.”
She asserted Pompeo, who arrived at State after being CIA director, “has shown his full support for career staff at the State Department possibly at the Central Intelligence Agency,” and added: “Political retribution regardless of the sort is definately not tolerated.”
In pushing Pompeo to avoid using the other probes just as one excuse not to hand over documents, Engel brought up a sensitive issue: Benghazi.
“With your experience as being a person in the property Select Committee on Benghazi, you comprehend it is entirely ideal for Congress to conduct a very investigation using a track parallel to OIG or OSC efforts,” Engel wrote.
Pompeo was crowned secretary of state at the end of April; your email that appeared to show the alleged targeting of career staffers were sent this past year under former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, relatively in the Trump’s tenure.
During his years as the Republican congressman from Kansas, Pompeo was among the Obama administration’s harshest and most relentless critics after four Americans, such as a U.S. ambassador, died next year in Benghazi, Libya.
Pompeo co-authored an addendum for the report from the House committee considering Benghazi that used much tougher language. Pompeo also stated that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s actions over Benghazi were “morally reprehensible.”