Angus King calls for Senate hearing into firing of intel watchdog (Politico)


    Angus King calls for Senate hearing into firing of intel watchdog – By Andrew Desiderio (Politico) / April 6 2020

    The Senate should hold a hearing on President Donald Trump’s decision to sack the intelligence community’s top watchdog, an Intelligence Committee member said on Monday.

    © Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo Sen. Angus King.

    Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), who sits on the powerful panel, said officials such as the acting director of national intelligence and Michael Atkinson — the intelligence community’s inspector general whom Trump fired late Friday night — should be put under oath.

    “It should be an open hearing to have members of the administration come forward and provide an explanation,” King, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, said in a phone interview, calling Trump’s decision to fire Atkinson “terrible on a lot of levels.”

    Trump has defended the firing, telling reporters on Saturday during a White House coronavirus task force briefing that the longtime public official was a “total disgrace” for the way he handled a whistleblower complaint that led to the president’s impeachment.

    But King cautioned that even a public hearing might not yield many answers because “this was a decision made principally by the president, probably without consulting much of anyone else.”

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