Fired Inspector General of the Intelligence Community Michael Atkinson released a highly unusual statement on Sunday saying he was fired for his proper handling of the whistleblower complaint that led to Donald Trump’s impeachment by the U.S. House of Representatives.
Said Atkinson in the statement (in the tweet below):”I am disappointed and saddened that President Trump has decided to remove me as the inspector general of the intelligence community because I did not have his ‘fullest confidence. It is hard not to think that the president’s loss of confidence in me derives from my having faithfully discharged my legal obligations as an independent and impartial inspector general.”
Trump fired Atkinson in the dead of night last Friday amid chaos over the coronavirus crisis.
Michael Horowitz, Chair of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) and the Inspector General at the Department of Justice, rebuked Trump in a statement on the removal of Atkinson: “Inspector General Atkinson is known throughout the Inspector General community for his integrity, professionalism, and commitment to the rule of law and independent oversight. That includes his actions in handling the Ukraine whistleblower complaint, which the then Acting Director of National Intelligence stated in congressional testimony was done ‘by the book’ and consistent with the law.”