In September 2018, we blogged about State/OIG and the Office of Special Counsel looking into political reprisals at the State Department (See State/OIG and OSC Reportedly Looking Into Political Reprisals @StateDept); Office of Special Counsel on Political Inquiries/Political Discrimination During Reassignments).
The probe is expected to cover a wide array of suspected mistreatment of Foreign Service and Civil Service officers by Trump political appointees. The majority of the alleged improprieties are thought to have occurred under former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, but the accused include some political appointees who also served under Pompeo.
Among the allegations: that a political appointee made loyalty lists of career staffers she considered supportive or unsupportive of Trump; that numerous career employees, including high-ranking ones, were given low-level duties processing Freedom of Information Act requests to punish them for work they did under former President Barack Obama; and that one career staffer’s assignment to a top policy post was cut short because of her Iranian ancestry and her work on the Iran nuclear deal.
Revelations that outside conservative figures, such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, may have played a role in targeting career staffers have fueled the anticipation of Linick’s findings.
Originally, one major report was expected, but Linick has said he decided to split it into two. The first will cover dysfunction in the State bureau that deals with international organizations. The second will cover the actions of top officials who report directly to the secretary.
We’ve asked State/OIG about this and here’s what the office told us:
“We submitted the draft report to the Department in July. As is always the case, we have given the Department the opportunity to submit a response to the report, and the Department has informed us that it wishes to do so. We have granted the Department’s request for two extensions for this report, and its response is due this week. We regularly grant extensions because, if at all possible, we believe that it is important to have the Department’s response to our conclusions. We anticipate publishing the report this month.”
“The delayed release of the State Department inspector general's findings has generated rising suspicion that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is trying to derail the investigation, whose results could be damning to some of his top aides.” https://t.co/FYO6dyAcE4
— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) August 9, 2019
Pompeo tells HFAC his department is sharing information with the House committee and is awaiting Inspector General report on possible political retaliation against career diplomats.
Rep. Engel accuses Pompeo's staff of failing to provide docs, respond to requests for info
— Dan De Luce (@dandeluce) March 27, 2019
Emails incl Tillerson's inner circle, being examined as part of the ongoing State Department Inspector General's investigation into alleged vetting and retaliation against career diplomats by Trump political appointees. @CNNPolitics https://t.co/oRtCYMf8Et
— Antonia Juhasz (@AntoniaJuhasz) February 20, 2019
The U.S. State Department’s Office of the Inspector General has widened an investigation into alleged political retaliation by Trump administration officials against America’s diplomatic corps. https://t.co/qeQHWZLlwX
— Foreign Policy (@ForeignPolicy) September 7, 2018
Retaliation is a pattern in the Trump administration. We’ve opened an investigation into reports of retaliation and political loyalty tests at other Trump agencies – including the State Department: https://t.co/hpPNuXVHP2
— American Oversight (@weareoversight) June 29, 2018