WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement today on the latest report by the State Department Office of the Inspector General (OIG) regarding allegations of politically-motivated retaliation against career Department employees in the Office of the Secretary of State. The OIG found that improper considerations played a role in a personal action against at least one employee.
“The growing body of evidence about the Trump Administration’s repeated efforts to punish dedicated career public servants who have served Democratic and Republican administrations is shameful. Under this administration’s watch, public servants have been routinely subjected to demotion, reassignment, threats, and damage to their careers—all for serving the American people. If nothing else, this long-overdue report by the Inspector General reiterates that Congress’ work to protect career personnel is more important than ever.
“Instead of fixing his predecessor’s systematic gutting and demoralization of the agency primarily responsible for projecting American power, American values, and American interests around the world, Secretary Pompeo’s ongoing refusal to defend or protect state department officials being smeared or targeted for their perceived lack of loyalty to President Trump adds insult to injury.
“Congress must not waiver in our oversight of the State Department in the wake of the Inspector General’s findings, as well as ongoing congressional investigations, that have shed light on this inexcusable conduct.”
Yesterday’s report follows an August 2019 report from the OIG that found serious and credible allegations of politically motivated retaliation at the Department, allegations which Secretary Pompeo has failed to address. For months, the Department sought to avoid Ranking Member Menendez’s own inquiries about what it is doing to protect employees. Following the August report, Menendez called for accountability for senior officials found to have engaged in retaliation by the OIG.