Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) wants to have a word with all 74 of the United States' 74 inspectors general.
In a letter sent Monday, Schumer requested the inspectors general "take immediate action to investigate any and all instances of retaliation against anyone who has made, or in the future makes, protected disclosures of presidential misconduct to Congress or inspectors general."
Schumer's call for investigations was inspired by Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman's dismissal from his post at the National Security Council last week, months after he provided damaging testimony against President Trump during the House's impeachment inquiry. Schumer clearly sees Vindman's firing as an act of revenge by the White House, and said he wants to make sure witnesses and whistleblowers, whose rights are protected by law, don't face professional or personal consequences for disclosing information about the president.
"Regrettably, these rights are now being challenged like never before, creating a chilling effect among those who, in previous administrations, may have come forward to expose abuses of power," Schumer wrote. "If this chilling effect persists, it will inhibit our ability to hold public officials and institutions accountable and it will irreparably harm the ability of Congress to fulfill its constitutional oversight responsibilities."
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