Brian is executive director of the Project On Government Oversight, a nonpartisan group that investigates misconduct and conflicts of interest by federal officials.
Government oversight is under attack right now.
In just a few days last week, President Trump removed an inspector general for doing his job, stalled operations of the new Pandemic Response Accountability Committee and attacked an acting inspector general for releasing a report that he didn't like. These actions undermined all IGs across the federal government — the independent government watchdogs charged with investigating federal agencies and departments and holding their behavior accountable.
Trump's actions exposed just how vulnerable inspectors general are, making clear that greater independence is needed. Inspectors general currently serve at the pleasure of the president, and one perceived misstep can cost an IG their job, as we saw when Trump fired Michael Atkinson as inspector general for the intelligence community.
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