WASHINGTON – The arrested State Department observer, Steve Lynnick, was subjected to a major investigation when he was ousted last month, accused of repeatedly sending classified information to his personal email account – raising concerns about leaking sensitive information to the press. .
After being expelled by President Trump on May 15 at the urging of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Democrats in Congress claimed that Linnik was fired because he launched an investigation into whether Pompeo and his wife were misusing State Department resources.
But a slice of documents obtained by The Post reveals that Linick is being investigated by the Ministry of Defense as part of an investigation into the alleged leaks of sensitive information to reporters, including a draft assessment of Iran’s senior ministry official, Brian Hook.
Moreover, Representative Elliot Engel (Dr. New York), chairman of the powerful Foreign Affairs Committee, ignored repeated offers from Pompeo and senior ministry aides to testify and explain why Linnik was fired.
In a March 17 report after a thorough investigation, IG Department confirmed that Linnick was guilty of misconduct after sending more than 23 emails containing classified material to his personal Gmail account – including eight times over a period of six days.
He was the only person in the department to send Hooke’s assessment to his personal email address, raising suspicions that he was behind the politically motivated leaks to the press.
at Testimony earlier this monthObama-appointed Linnick told the Foreign Affairs Committee that he was shocked by his dismissal after Trump announced that he “no longer” had “full confidence” in Linnick’s work.
But internal documents reveal Linnik, who has served in the job since 2013, the results of an investigation conducted by the Defense Department in March, which found that he violated the rules of his post by submitting sensitive information to his personal email address, were handed over.
In a June 11 letter to Engel, Pompeo described Linnik’s behavior as “strange and weirdo” and criticized the strong Democrat for his refusal to offer offers of interpretation from Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Stephen Bigon and Brian Polatao, Under Secretary of State for Administrative Affairs.
I need an inspector general every day to improve the operations and efficiency of the State Department. Pompeo wrote that Mr. Linnik was not that person.
Pompeo also shot Angel, who faces a fierce basic challenge in his area in New York this month.
Pompeo wrote, “I hear you’re busy in your area, so let me tell you what’s going on on your commission,” including a footnote to a news report claiming that Angel was “fighting for his political survival.”
In letters to Engel, Pomeo and Biegun also denied allegations that Linick was overthrown because Pompeo knew he was under investigation by the agency.
In fact, Begin wrote to Engel: “I have maintained a firewall related to any discussions of the Inspector General to prevent – to the greatest extent possible – the Foreign Minister’s participation in any specific investigations.”
Linnic, a former aide to the American lawyer in California and Virginia, oversaw the inspector general’s reports that were highly critical of the administration’s administration policies during the Trump administration.
His office criticized many of Trump’s appointees for apparently treating working staff because they had not sufficiently backed Trump and his policies.