Former Pentagon Inspector General Glenn Fine has resigned weeks after he was moved out of his position by President Donald Trump, according to The Hill.
“It has been an honor to serve in the inspector general community, both as the inspector general of the Department of Justice and the DoD acting inspector general and principal deputy inspector general performing the duties of the DoD inspector general,” he said in a statement.
“A strength of our system of government”
Stressing the importance of the watchdog position, Fine said the “role of inspectors general is a strength of our system of government,” according to The Hill.
Fine described the job as one that provides “independent oversight to help improve government operations in a transparent way” and represents “a vital component of our system of checks and balances.”
He concluded by expressing gratitude for the opportunity to serve and wishing his colleagues “continued success in these important responsibilities.”
House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) was among the Democratic leaders who lamented Trump’s decision to remove Fine from the post.
“It is a shame that our nation is losing such a dedicated public servant who has given so much to this country,” she said of his decision to resign, as The Hill reported.
“Abusing this pandemic”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) also took aim at the president’s track record of removing inspectors general in a tweet accusing him of “abusing this pandemic to eliminate honest, independent public servants…who are willing to speak truth to power,” as The Hill noted.
Fine was poised to take charge of a watchdog panel overseeing coronavirus-related relief funding when Trump removed him last month.
At the time, a Pentagon spokesperson confirmed that “Fine is no longer on the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee,” Politico reported.
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) issued a statement calling the latest development “another stain on the Trump administration and another blow to accountable democracy.”
It is clear that Trump’s decision to shake up the offices of inspectors general throughout his administration has thrown Democrats for a loop. Throughout his first term, however, the president has proven he is undeterred by political norms and will work to remove anyone he believes is working against his agenda.