According to CNN on the 10th, a source from the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. State Department said that Matthew Klimow, Acting Inspector General of the U.S. State Department, suddenly revealed to his colleagues in a memorandum that he would leave early, but in fact he only went to Any months.
On the same day that Crimo announced his departure, the office of Secretary of State Pompeo responded strongly to the Inspector General’s investigation report about Pompeo’s wife Susan Pompeo’s travels. This independent inspectorate within the State Department found that while Susan’s travels were considered official travel and paid for by American taxpayers, most of her travels were not approved in writing by the State Department for two years.
CNN pointed out that Crimo is already the third senior official of the IG’s Office to leave early during Pompeo’s tenure. His departure is the latest sign of friction between Pompeo and the agency responsible for investigating waste, fraud and abuse of power by the U.S. Department of State.
The report mentioned that during his tenure as Secretary of State, Pompeo and his wife’s behavior led to a series of investigations by the Inspector General. Pompeo also attracted the attention of American public opinion for asking President Trump to fire an inspector general who investigated his use of public funds. Meanwhile, Pompeo is under investigation by another federal investigation agency, the Special Prosecutor’s Office, for possible violations of a federal law prohibiting federal employees from engaging in political activities while working.
According to the report submitted to the U.S. Congress by the Crimo office on Thursday, Susan Pompeo made eight official trips as the wife of the Secretary of State from April 2018 to April 2020, but only two of them were approved in writing. Undersecretary of State Brian Bulatao told investigators that he had “verbally approved” the remaining travel. Blato was accused of being a “close ally” of Pompeo, and the two had known each other since they were at West Point.
The Office of Inspector General did not recommend dismissal or other penalties, although they did recommend that the travel of family members of U.S. State Department officials should be approved in writing after that. A source from the Inspector General’s Office said that since there was no violation of law or ethics, but only the recommendation of the legal counsel, no penalty was recommended. In this case, the Office of the Inspector General usually leaves a certain space for the U.S. State Department to make its own decisions.
However, Pompeo responded strongly through a statement issued by his office, claiming that “the unfounded allegations that have been ‘factual’ by Democrats and media reports fully justify him and his wife”. The statement said, “The Secretary of State, his spouse or family, or the State Department have not been improper. The Office of Inspector General wasted time and taxpayer resources on this report.”
The report released on Thursday is the latest in a series of investigations by the Office of the Inspector General of the United States Department of State against the possible misuse of public funds by the Pompeo couple, including suspected government workers asking government workers to help them with dogs, pick up dry-clean clothes, send personal cards and book dinners.
Earlier, when Pompeo asked Trump to fire former inspector general Steve Linick, who was investigating at least five cases of possible misconduct by the U.S. State Department. Linick was fired in May 2020 and is just one of several heads of IRAs that Trump fired without any explanation. Pompeo repeatedly denied that Linick was fired in revenge, but told reporters that Trump “should have done it long ago”.