While Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is “joking” that President Donald Trump won’t be leaving the presidency, investigations into his misuse of government funds are beginning to wrap up.
Politico reported Tuesday that the Office of the Inspector General is nearing the end of at least one of two investigations on Pompeo and his wife using government resources for their own personal benefit.
The probe wrapping up now looks at Susan Pompeo traveling with her husband on official government trips in the U.S. and abroad on the taxpayer dime. Mrs. Pompeo is not a government employee or official.
“Investigators have submitted a draft report about that probe to the department’s leadership,” Politico cited a person familiar with the issue.
The second investigation is into Pompeo’s use of staff resources and government money to host lavish dinners at his home with major Republican donors and CEOs. Regardless of President-elect Joe Biden taking office, the investigation will continue until it is finished.
“In July, POLITICO reported on a memo in which various State Department officials disagreed on whether to describe as acceptable Susan Pompeo’s traveling with her husband to the Middle East during a U.S. government shutdown, quibbling over whether her inclusion was ‘necessary to national security.’ The document was dated Jan. 7, 2019 — the same day the trip started, with Susan Pompeo on the plane,” the report recalled.
Pompeo has said that his wife is valuable to his work at the State Department because she meets with the spouses of diplomats overseas.
“I believe he’s trying to run out the clock and avoid investigators until he leaves office,” Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) said. An aide to Engel also said that Pompeo has refused to submit to an interview.
It’s unknown what the consequences are if the IG finds Pompeo acted inappropriately if he’ll be required to refund the money paid by the government or if he’ll simply move on with his life.
Despite headlines, “Pompeo has said he was unaware the inspector general’s office was investigating him and his wife’s use of department resources when he asked Trump to fire [IG Steve] Linick.”