Statement by Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn
We deserve a government accountable and transparent to the people, but President Trump is once again acting as if he is above the law. Trump’s decision to remove Glenn Fine, the leader of an independent panel of inspectors general providing oversight of the coronavirus relief stimulus, is a corrupt power grab. Without strong oversight, the public will not have the confidence that their hard-earned money actually serves the public over special interests.
It should be noted that Fine served honorably in the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations before serving President Trump and had been appointed a week ago by an independent council of inspectors general to lead the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee.
This move comes just days after President Trump installed Brian Miller, a Trump loyalist, as the inspector general overseeing the Treasury Department’s implementation of the $2 trillion CARES stimulus package. President Trump has also announced he plans to ignore the oversight provisions in the CARES Act.
The president is not above the law and we will not stand by while President Trump tries to use a pandemic to distract the American people from the corruption in his administration and his attempts to avoid transparency. Congress must immediately use its oversight powers and hold the president accountable to the American people. Without vigilant oversight of the CARES Act, we cannot ensure that public funds actually serve the public. Today’s actions by President Trump are the latest in a disturbing pattern of attacks on inspectors general and whistleblowers that serve as internal checks and balances on unethical behavior.
To view Common Cause’s previous statement on the Trump administration’s resistance to the CARES Act oversight and transparency provisions, click here.