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State Department IG, Third of the Year, Clears Secretary Pompeo over Saudi Arms Deal

HeadlineAug 13, 2020

The State Department’s Office of the Inspector General has determined Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had the legal authority to bypass Congress and approve over $8 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates last year. At the time, Pompeo claimed the arms were needed for an emergency in Yemen, where the U.S. has supported the Saudi- and UAE-led war. But Eliot Engel, the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, slammed Pompeo’s actions, saying, “This report tells us everything we suspected: The emergency was a sham. It was cooked up to get around congressional review of a bad policy choice.” It is unclear if the past two State Department inspectors general supported the findings of the report. In May, Trump fired Steve Linick as IG. His replacement, Stephen Akard, resigned abruptly last week, less than three months on the job.

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