Patterico's Pontifications


Trump’s New Inspector Generals and Nominees Are Worthless

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:22 am


The political appointee President Trump installed last week to investigate waste, fraud and abuse at the Transportation Department is the same official in charge of one of the agency’s key divisions.

That means Howard “Skip” Elliott is now running an office charged with investigating his own actions.

Elliott serves simultaneously as the Transportation Department’s inspector general and head of the department’s pipeline and hazardous materials agency, whose mission includes enforcement of safety regulations on nearly 1 million daily shipments of gas, oil and other dangerous compounds.

This is part of a pattern of dismissing inspectors general and replacing them with unqualified people beholden to the agencies they are supposed to be overseeing:

Elliott’s appointment was the fifth in two months in which Trump, chafing from oversight he perceived as criticism, replaced a career investigator with an appointee considered more loyal to the president. In three of the cases, Trump has installed new leadership drawn from the senior ranks of the agencies the inspectors general oversee.

. . . . [S]everal White House nominees awaiting Senate vetting for permanent roles do not meet traditional qualifications for the job.

. . . .

[R]ecent nominees to high-profile inspector general offices, including at the Defense Department, HHS and the CIA, have far less leadership experience. They lack a deep background in auditing or investigations, raising concerns about whether they can succeed in roles they may not be prepared for, according to four current watchdogs, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk candidly.

This is part of Trump’s gutting of any oversight of his administration — by Congress, by law enforcement, and now by inspectors general. And naturally, no Senate Republican is doing anything about it. Senators Grassley and Romney have mouthed concern but taken no steps to actually do anything.

Par for the course. Now watch this drive.

30 Responses to “Trump’s New Inspector Generals and Nominees Are Worthless”

  1. Another example of Trump corrupting everything he touches. Unfit.
    I doubt we’ll see Congress do any meaningful IG reform. The political environment is too toxic.

    Paul Montagu (f7a161)

  2. 1. To be fair, Trump isn’t the first example of the need for IG reform in my lifetime. But yeah, I agree with the general sentiment.

    Gryph (08c844)

  3. Good, Trump deserves to have his own guys in their as IG’s. Just like Obama and Clinton did.
    One rule for everyone. Not one rule for Trump and another rule for D Presidents.

    rcocean (846d30)

  4. Good, Trump deserves to have his own guys in their as IG’s. Just like Obama and Clinton did.
    One rule for everyone. Not one rule for Trump and another rule for D Presidents.

    Well, please link to the time that, Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, Carter, fired 5 IG’s investigating their administration in a month. Provide the dates and titles, because you must have done the research to make that claim, right?

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (305827)

  5. Here’s wishing everyone a blessed Memorial Day, no matter what they think of Trump or any other politician or issue. Let’s be grateful for all those who sacrificed so that we can freely debate any issue we want.

    Probably most of you have someone, maybe several people, to remember. I’m going to think about my namesake uncle died before he ever saw action, who was one of 20 or so young men killed in a crash when two planes on a training flight in Florida collided in midair in 1943. And about the millions of others who gave all. Politics can wait until tomorrow.

    RL formerly in Glendale (40f5aa)

  6. If the AG doesn’t approve of what you’re doing, fire him. The IGs…five of them? Same thing. Pay taxes? Nope. Release your taxes? Not a chance. Comply with subpoenas? You know the answer.

    Rules are for the little guy.

    noel (4d3313)

  7. Some of the little people in that Presidential video are wearing masks!

    noel (4d3313)

  8. #6 yes, like the 4th amendment doesn’t apply any more and the FBI can spy on you without a warrant of any kind. So yes, those are the rules we live under now. Own it lawyers.

    1DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  9. If the legal profession can’t hold Democrat’s to any legal standards then why would they hold Republicans to any.

    1DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  10. @4 If Trump were throwing bricks off the top of Trump tower at grandmas on the streets below, rc would claim that Obama and Clinton also threw bricks off the top of skyscrapers at gma’s. And that it was OK for Trump to do it because he’s the president and also good for him because New Yorkers are all democrats and they deserve it.

    Nic (896fdf)

  11. @8 and 9 The Rs held both house and Senate for most of the Obama administration and the house, senate, and presidency for the 1st 2 years of the Trump administration and still hold the presidency and the Senate. The Rs have held the presidency for the majority of the last 20 years and either at least the pres + one legislative body or 2 legislative bodies almost all of it. Please explain to me how the Rs being in power for almost all of the last 20 years has somehow led to the D’s having an advantage. Are they just totally incompetent? Or are they incompetent and looking for someone to blame that the base will swallow as an excuse for failure? or are they just liars?

    Nic (896fdf)

  12. #11 you miss the point as usual. Both parties are totally corrupt as is the legal profession.

    1DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  13. @12 Then why even bother?

    Nic (896fdf)

  14. Obviously if the legal profession adopted a rigorous code of ethics and actually enforced it as well as adopting a culture of continuous improvement with regard to crafting laws with clarity and clear tests for enforcement, it would be more difficult to abuse power. Too many people benefit and get rich off the status quo for that to happen though. Eventually our current government will collapse and rule of the powerful, by the powerful and and for the powerful shall not perish from the earth.

    1DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  15. @14 Yeah, sorry, I’m just frustrated. The people who have been talking about good law enforcement and personal responsibility for my entire lifetime are now whining. endlessly. about how a system they controlled is not giving them enough special treatment and how it needs to be further corrupted to give them more and more and more and then all the special treatment and no responsibility, and it makes me want to shout at them.

    Nic (896fdf)

  16. IGs serve at the pleasure of the president, whoever he is. Neither Republicans or Democrats can do anything about it but complain. Other presidents have fired AGs including Saint Obama. Trump is not unique here, no matter how much you shout Orange Man bad, he is still the president. Jimmy Carter’ was our most moral president and we know how that turned out. Presidents are held accountable to the electorate for results and not morality. The public has made that abundantly clear on many occasions as they elect corrupt politicians on a regular basis.

    1DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  17. I don’t do the “Orange Man” thing. I think he’s a terrible human being, but that’s no reason to sink to his level of juvenile name calling. And it isn’t just Trump whining, it’s almost the Entire. Freaking. Party. just nod nod nodding along. Argh.

    Nic (896fdf)

  18. Lipstick on a pig, inspectors general in Trump’s administration, same thing.

    nk (1d9030)

  19. IGs in any administration, same thing

    1DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  20. Focus on critiquing the presidents policy prescriptions and results. Not what he says or does that has little effect on policies or results. Criticizing what he says is a waste of time. It might make you feel good but is unlikely to change anyone’s mind. Everybody knows he is a shameless promoter and does not care. We know his policy on deficits is bad, but it is obvious now that no politician from any party can run on fiscal discipline and get elected. So we are left with other policies to assess on the margin.

    1DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  21. 100,000 dead Americans in less than three months. Yeah, I know, they were mostly old and sick.

    nk (1d9030)

  22. 21. So what actions should have been taken to mitigate that. Given what was known at any given time, what should have been done differently? If you can’t tell us then it’s just empty posturing.

    1DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  23. 21. So what actions should have been taken to mitigate that. Given what was known at any given time, what should have been done differently? If you can’t tell us then it’s just empty posturing.

    Trump removed on February 5, 2020.

    nk (1d9030)

  24. In other words, orange man bad. About what I would expect from you.

    1DaveMac (4cc9b4)

  25. Can’t help revealing yourself, can you, Christoph?

    nk (1d9030)

  26. BTW, “orange man bad” is a Trumpkin creation. “Putrid pile of orange New York putrid putridity” … well, there, you might kind of be speaking for me.

    nk (1d9030)

  27. Ok, I do approve of one thing Trump did. Full-heartedly. His de-funding of WHO.

    Coronavirus in South Africa: Smokers fume at cigarette ban
    The government justified the tobacco ban on health grounds based on advice from its own medical experts as well as from the World Health Organization (WHO).

    The WHO said that although research is still being carried out, there was reason to believe that smokers would be more adversely affected than non-smokers if they contracted Covid-19.

    nk (1d9030)

  28. “ When President Donald Trump fired Intelligence Community (IC) Inspector General (IG) Michael Atkinson in April, Atkinson claimed the president fired him for duly passing on the report of the Ukraine “whistleblower” to Congress — the report that led to Trump’s impeachment — and urged whistleblowers to speak out. According to Pedro Orta, a former CIA agent and whistleblower who allegedly faced multiple rounds of retaliation for attempting to expose abuse of power at a CIA base in 2015, Trump was right to fire Atkinson and the former IC IG’s posturing on whistleblowers conflicts with his record of suppressing claims of retaliation.

    Orta called the source that led to Trump’s impeachment the “so-called Ukraine whistleblower” because he was not a whistleblower as defined by the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act (ICWPA) and because his report did not concern “intelligence activities,” so it did not fall under Atkinson’s authority.

    “What IG Atkinson basically did was to weaponize the ICWPA law and the authorities of the IC IG to willfully target President Trump with baseless charges to seek his removal,” Orta told PJ Media. “That alone was more than enough to fire IG Atkinson.”“

    EXCLUSIVE: Ex-IG ‘Weaponized’ Whistleblower Law to Impeach Trump, CIA Agent-Turned-Whistleblower Says

    harkin (8f4a6f)

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