Media Mention

CNN Politics: Trump fires watchdog IG Michael Atkinson

April 8, 2020

Note: this piece was originally published on CNN Politics, and features a quote from recent statement by co-founders and additional members of Checks & Balances. 

Even members of Trump’s own party are urging him to cool down. Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, a staunch advocate for inspectors general and congressional oversight, responded to Trump’s moves with a statement, reminding Trump that the law requires him to notify Congress ahead of any termination of a Senate-confirmed inspector general and to provide a written explanation.

“Inspectors General provide a critical check on an otherwise unaccountable bureaucracy,” Grassley wrote. “In other words, they help drain the swamp.”

Checks and Balances, the group of conservative and libertarian lawyers co-founded by George Conway, released a statement Monday charging that Michael Atkinson’s firing underscored Trump’s “contempt for the rule of law.”

“While a president has the authority to nominate and select officials in his administration, he does not have the authority to make a mockery of the Appointments Clause of the Constitution, statutory mandates and Senate confirmation,” the lawyers said.