Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been cleared by the Office of the Inspector General over an emergency arm deal to Saudi Arabia.
According to The Hill:
The State Department’s internal watchdog on Tuesday said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was within his authority last year to push through billion-dollar arms sales to allies in the Middle East, but faulted him for not ensuring American weapons weren’t used against civilian populations.
The findings are part of a controversial investigation launched at the request of Congress to probe Pompeo’s use of an emergency declaration in May 2019 to sell more than $8 billion in weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan and without the approval of Congress.
The report’s publication is also a key part of Democrats’ probe into the ousting of Inspector General Steve Linick, whom President Trump abruptly fired in mid-May at the request of Pompeo.
Linick had launched the investigation in June 2019 at the request of Congress — and in particular Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs — over the legality of the arms sales.
The move was made by Pompeo under the authority given to him by the Arms Export Control Act, which the Inspector General ruled gave him authority to do so.