Fine was originally in charge of overseeing the enactment of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package.
Just one week after he was appointed chairman of the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, Trump issued a statement announcing he was removing Fine, as IJR previously reported.
Fine is being temporarily replaced by Sean O’Donnell, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) inspector general.
Mattis defended Fine in a statement sent to Yahoo News.
“Mr. Fine is a public servant in the finest tradition of honest, competent governance,” Mattis writes. “In my years of extensive engagement with him as our Department of Defense’s acting Inspector General, he proved to be a leader whose personal and managerial integrity were always of the highest order.”
He has been slow to criticize Trump in the past, previously saying he would not “speak ill of a sitting president,” as IJR previously reported.
Mattis is not the only one to criticize Trump for his latest decision. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also slammed Trump for removing Fine.
“The sudden removal and replacement of Acting IG Glenn Fine is part of a disturbing pattern of retaliation by the President against independent overseers fulfilling their duties to conduct oversight on behalf of the American people,” Pelosi tweeted.
The sudden removal & replacement of Acting IG Glenn Fine is part of a disturbing pattern of retaliation by the President against independent overseers fulfilling their duties to conduct oversight on behalf of the American people. https://t.co/4QmyMdJ1S9
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) April 7, 2020
Pelosi released an additional statement.
“Since Day One, the President has tried to marginalize and exercise ultimate control over independent Inspectors General,” Pelosi said.
“Yet again, he is doubling down on his signing statement promise to disregard critical oversight provisions that hold the Administration accountable to the law.”
Fine is set to return to his position of Pentagon deputy inspector general.
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