State says it will be removed by watchdog report

The state Department on Monday said a report from the Office of Inspector General will say the agency did nothing wrong when it used emergency powers to sell billions of dollars worth of weapons to allies in the Middle East without the approval of Congress.

Democrats asked last year for the report, which has yet to be released.

Sarah Breen, spokeswoman for the OIG, said unclassified parts of the report would be published on Tuesday.

State said the OIG report confirmed that the department “acted in accordance with the law and found no crime in the exercise of the administration of emergency authorities available under the Arms Export Control Act (AECA).”

The remark about an unpublished report is unusual and it caught the ears of Chairman of the Second Chamber Rep. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelHuffPost reporter discusses successful display of progressives on Tuesday Ex-USAID employee apologizes, denies sending explosive tweets Progressives soaring to big primary night MORE (DN.Y.), who said the agency’s “pre-spin” on the unpublished report “resulted in an attempt to distract and mislead.”

Engel named the State Department official who informed reporters of the watchdog’s unpublished report as assistant secretary of state for military-political affairs Clarke Cooper, noting that Cooper was part of the probe and not the author of the report.

Cooper had previously told reporters that the agency commented on the unpublished report to warn people of its existence.

“We just make sure people follow that the report is out,” Cooper said.

The report is an important part of a democratic inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump suggests some states ‘can pay nothing’ as part of Trump’s unemployment plan denies White House asked about adding him to Mount Rushmore Trump, US face pivotal UN vote on Iran MAY‘S abrupt dismissal of agent House House Steve Linick in mid-May.

Democrats say they are concerned that Linick was fired, in part, as probation secretary Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoHong Kong police arrest pro-democracy media tycoon: aide Trump, US face pivotal UN vote on Iran Trump puts trade back on agenda 2020 MOREThe use of emergency forces in May 2019 to push $ 8 billion in arms sales through to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan.

“From the beginning, we have been searching for the truth about why an emergency declaration was used to sell weapons to the Saudis and the UAE when there was no emergency,” Engel said in a statement. “Hopefully the IG report will shed light on that question. However, the American people still deserve answers about why Mr. Linick was fired and why the State Department is trying to hide the facts about why he was fired and what he is investigating. I stick to getting those answers. ”

Linick told House lawmakers that a top aid to Pompeo, under Secretary of State Brian Bulatao, was trying to “bully” him over the investigation.

The report was seen as almost complete before Linick betrayed, the State Department official said.

Following the dispatch of Linick in May, the report fell to Acting Inspector General Stephen Ackard, who denied the investigation and passed it on to his deputy, Diana Shaw.

Shaw took over as acting inspector general last week, with Ackard dismissing “back home,” Pompeo said at the time.

Pompeo, who fired the president for setting Linick on fire, denied that he was aware at the time of Linick’s dismissal, that he was being investigated. But he also said he provided written answers to Linick in January related to an investigation.

Pompeo rejected the idea that he fired Linick in retaliation for any investigation. The inspector general was also questioned as to whether the secretary and his wife were abusing federal resources for personal gain.

The secretary said Linick underwent the State Department mission and did not act in the way the secretary wanted him to act.

But the armed deal has become an important piece of the Democrats’ probe into Pompeo’s pressure for Linick’s dismissal.

Engel had postponed a July hearing with Bulatao pending the report.

Engel last week, along with Chairman of Oversight and Reform Committee Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn Bosher MaloneyUS could prevent 4.5M early deaths by fighting climate change, study finds Carolyn Maloney defeats Suraj Patel to win primary New York: AP Maloney, Torres declare victory in NY primary races after weeks of delay MAY (DN.Y.) and rank member of the Senate of the Senate for Foreign Relations Committee Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezVOA visa decision could bump Venezuela coverage. Underline Koch Support Group Requests First Chamber to Prevent State Bailouts in New Ads (DN.J.), sent out statements to four of Pompeo’s top officials as part of its investigation.

Pompeo denied the allegations, NBC News reported last week, in a letter accusing Democratic lawmakers who are leading the investigation of failing to meet agency requests for the interviews.