Michael Atkinson Trump’s new fall guy over House impeachment

President Donald Trump has notified Congress that he has sacked Michael Atkinson, the Inspector general of the Intelligence Committee.

Atkinson, Trump’s new fall guy, was the one who notified Congress about a whistleblower complaint.

The complaint dwelled on Trump’s inappropriate phone call to Ukrainian leader Zelensky.

The complaint led to the House impeachment inquiry and Trump’s impeachment on 18 December 2019.

Trump has now informed the Congress that he intends to sack Atkinson.

In a letter to Congress on Friday, Trump said the firing of Atkinson will take effect in 30 days.

The letter was published by Washington Post and Politico.

“This is to advise that I am exercising my power as president to remove from office the inspector general of the intelligence community, effective 30 days from today,” Trump wrote.

He said he doesn’t have confidence in Atkinson and plans to nominate his replacement “at a later date.”

“As is the case with regard to other positions where I, as president, have the power of appointment, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, it is vital that I have the fullest confidence in the appointees serving as inspectors general,” Trump wrote.

“That is no longer the case with regard to this inspector general.”

Atkinson, in his role as the intelligence community inspector general, notified Congress last year of a whistleblower report.

The report accused Trump of having an improper telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The whistle-blower accused Trump of dangling military aid and a one-on-one meeting between the two leaders.

The quid pro-quo would have made Zelensky announce a corruption investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden.

Trump repeatedly called his subsequent impeachment a hoax and criticised Atkinson for telling Congress of the whistle-blower report.

The House voted to impeach Trump on Dec. 18, but the Senate voted to acquit him in February.

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