Donald Trump removes acting Pentagon inspector general Glenn Fine to prevent him from overseeing the $2 trillion coronavirus package passed by Congress.
A panel of inspectors general had chosen Fine to lead the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee. The law requires that a current inspector general leads the operation, so Trump removes him from his position. If he’s not an inspector general, he can’t monitor how the administration spends the COVID-19 aid.
Trump replaces Fine with the Environmental Protection Agency inspector, Sean O’Donnell. Putting one person in charge of overseeing both the EPA and the Defense Department raises a lot of red flags in Washington, but the news is overshadowed by the growing pandemic.
As part of the law passed by Congress, $1 billion in COVID-19 aid was to be distributed where the Pentagon deemed it necessary–as long as it was to protect the country from the virus.
In the days following O’Donnell replacing Fine, the Pentagon diverts most of the money to defense contractors for military equipment like body armor, surveillance technology, and jet engine parts.
Photo: Sean O’Donnell, Public Domain