April 7 (UPI) — President Donald Trump on Tuesday removed the Pentagon’s inspector general, the person who was selected to lead the new Pandemic Response Accountability Committee.
The move essentially removed Glenn Fine, who has served as Department of Defense inspector general since 2015, from the committee, which is meant to act as a watchdog on how funds from the massive $2 billion coronavirus law are spent.
The new law allows only current inspectors general to fill the position.
Fine worked as acting inspector general in the Pentagon since 2016. He will now step back into the position of principal deputy inspector general and Sean O’Donnell, the Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general, will add the Pentagon inspector general role to his plate for now.
On Monday, Trump nominated Jason Abend, a senior policy adviser with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, to take over the inspector general’s role at the Pentagon permanently.
Abend had served as an inspector general special agent in both the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Department of Housing and Urban Development before moving to the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.
The move was the latest Trump action against the independent watchdog office. Last week, he fired the intelligence community’s inspector general Michael Atkinson, who oversaw the whistleblower complaint that led to the president’s impeachment.