Trump Replaces Inspector General Providing Oversight of Coronavirus Relief Fund

Inspectors general in this administration seem to have the job security once enjoyed by the No. 3 men in al Qaeda. Now, it seems, the coronavirus relief fund is open for whatever shady business occurs to the White House Grift-o-Mat. From the Washington Post:

Glenn Fine, who had been the acting Pentagon inspector general, was informed Monday that he was being replaced by Sean W. O’Donnell, currently the acting inspector general at the Environmental Protection Agency. Fine is a career official who had served as acting Pentagon inspector general for four years and three months. Before that he was inspector general at the Department of Justice for 11 years.

The move, which was first reported by Politico, will be seen by some as another instance of the president chafing at independent oversight. On Friday, he notified Congress that he was removing Michael Atkinson as the inspector general of the intelligence community — a decision that was criticized as a response to Atkinson’s having alerted lawmakers to the existence of a whistleblower complaint about the president’s dealings with Ukraine. The matter ultimately led to the president’s impeachment.

(Aside: long ago, when he was a point guard at Harvard, I wrote about Glenn Fine and how he’d received the phone call awarding him a Rhodes Scholarship at a telephone in a hallway outside the locker room in the old Boston Garden. He had just played a game against Boston College, in which Harvard nearly had pulled a considerable upset. Later, we learned that the game had been one of the games in which BC players had been shaving points on behalf of Henry Hill and various mobsters.)

Glenn Fine might have provided legitimate oversight, so he’s gone.

Drew AngererGetty Images

This, of course, is another move aimed at replacing legitimate oversight with reliable political blinders. This comes on the heels of his paranoid assault during the Monday edition of the Five O’Clock Follies on Christi Grimm, the deputy inspector general at the Department of Health and Human Services, an attack that he continued on the electric Twitter machine on Tuesday morning. Now the chaos has reached into the public trough. And, as we have seen, this is not an administration* that bothers its shiny little mind about profiteering.

On Monday night, Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker blew the whistle on the wild-west system by which states are bidding against each other for vital medical supplies. The president* already had snarked about Pritzker earlier that afternoon, so there’s that, plus Pritzker and the president* have a feud going back to the time when the president* was pretending to be a billionaire while Pritzker actually was one. National leadership is so very much up for grabs.

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