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Next internal investigator leaves US government

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After just under three months in office, the US State Department internal investigator Stephen Akard is off his job again. „He went to go back home, that happens,“ Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo said yesterday. He had nothing to add to it.

Akard was inspector general in the State Department. His predecessor Steve Linick was fired by US President Donald Trump in May at the urging of Pompeo. Politicians from the opposition Democrats saw it as a „retaliation“ for Linick investigating the foreign minister. A parliamentary committee is currently investigating the allegations.

Akard is a longtime assistant to Vice President Mike Pence. His appointment as Inspector General in May was seen as an attempt to bring a figure well-disposed towards the government into this role. According to a ministry spokesman, Akard will „return to the private sector after years of public service“.

Arms deliveries are screened

The timing is explosive because the State Department’s investigative office is due to finalize a report on a controversial Pompeo’s decision: The Foreign Minister had bypassed Congress to give the green light to arms shipments worth $ 8.1 billion to Saudi Arabia and other Arab allies to give.

The leading Democrat in the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Robert Menendez, expressed concern about the „leadership crisis“ in the State Department and called for an independent investigation into Akard’s departure.