Trump Removes Inspector General For Virus Response Funds

Written by SK Ashby

Pentagon inspector general Glenn Fine was chosen by a committee of his peers to oversee the distribution of funds contained in the $2 trillion aid package recently passed by Congress, but he's no longer on the job as of today.

Trump has removed Fine from his position at the Department of Defense which means he has also been removed from his other role overseeing virus funds.

That decision, which began circulating on Capitol Hill Tuesday morning, effectively removed Fine from his role overseeing the coronavirus relief effort, since the new law permits only current inspectors general to fill the position.

“Mr. Fine is no longer on the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee," Dwrena Allen, a spokeswoman for the Pentagon inspector general’s office, confirmed.

Fine’s removal is Trump’s latest incursion into the community of independent federal watchdogs — punctuated most dramatically by his late Friday ouster of the intelligence community’s inspector general, Michael Atkinson, whose handling of a whistleblower report ultimately led to Trump’s impeachment.

Trump has named Environmental Protection Agency Inspector General Sean O'Donnell as the acting inspector general of the Department of Defense, but O'Donnell will not fill Fine's position as the inspector general for virus funds.

A committee of inspectors general will select a new inspector general for the $2 trillion aid package but, as of right now, there is no one in that position. The next inspector general for virus funds will have to play catch-up and there's an enormous amount of money changing hands right now.

The Trump White House is both corrupt and hopelessly stupid so it's anyone guess if they knew that removing Fine would remove him from both positions, or if doing so was the point. And these aren't mutually exclusive options.