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In this Oct. 2, 2019, file photo State Department Inspector General Steve Linick leaves a meeting in a secure area at the Capitol in Washington.

The Associated Press

Democrats in Congress on Saturday launched an investigation into President Donald Trump’s move to oust the State Department’s internal watchdog, accusing the president of escalating his fight against any oversight of his administration.

Late on Friday, Trump announced the firing of Inspector General Steve Linick, who was appointed to the role in 2013 under the Obama administration.

Trump said in a letter to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that he no longer had confidence in Linick’s ability to serve, though Trump did not give the reason for his loss of confidence.

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Pelosi described Linick’s ousting as an acceleration of a quote “dangerous pattern of retaliation” from Trump.

The top Democrats on the House and Senate Foreign Relations Committees - Congressman Eliot Engel and Senator Bob Menendez - launched an investigation into Linick’s firing.

The two Democrats said it was their understanding that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo personally recommended Linick’s firing… because Linick quote “had opened an investigation into wrongdoing by Secretary Pompeo himself.”

The White House responded saying quote - “Secretary Pompeo recommended the move, and President Trump agreed.”

Linick is the fourth inspector general fired by Trump since early April.

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