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Bob Menendez calls IG firing a 'Friday night massacre'

May 17, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Sen. Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Saturday that President Donald Trump's firing of the State Department inspector general was "another Friday night massacre."

Washington, DC (CNN)Sen. Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Saturday that President Donald Trump's firing of the State Department inspector general was "another Friday night massacre. "

They are there for the purpose of making sure that agencies act appropriately, and once again we have another Friday night massacre of an Inspector General for no good cause," Menedez told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room. "

Trump late on Friday fired State Department Inspector General Steve Linick -- the latest in a series of dismissals of internal government watchdogs that have come in the wake of the President's acquittal on two articles of impeachment earlier this year.

Earlier in the day, the New Jersey senator and House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat, announced that they have launched a probe into Trump's firing of Linick.

"We unalterably oppose the politically-motivated firing of inspectors general and the President's gutting of these critical positions," Engel and Menendez wrote in a letter to the White House.

Menendez said that Trump's explanation for the firing, which Trump said was based on a lack of confidence in Linick, was "wholly unacceptable. "

Earlier in the day, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, a longtime proponent of inspectors general, expressed some concern about Trump's rationale for firing Linick.

"The President has not provided the kind of justification for the removal of IG Linick required by this law," said Maine Sen. Susan Collins, referencing a law she co-authored in 2008, as part of a Saturday night Twitter thread.

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