Steve Linick

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Steve Linick
Steve Linick 2013.jpg
Inspector General of the Department of State
In office
September 30, 2013 – June 14, 2020
On leave: May 15, 2020 – June 14, 2020
PresidentBarack Obama
Donald Trump
Preceded byHarold Geisel (acting)
Succeeded byStephen Akard (acting)
Inspector General of the Federal Housing Finance Agency
In office
September 29, 2010 – September 30, 2013
PresidentBarack Obama
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byMichael Stephens (acting)
Personal details
Steven Alan Linick

1963 (age 57–58)
EducationGeorgetown University (BA, MA, JD)

Steven Alan Linick (/ˈlɪnɪk/ LIN-ik[1]) (born 1963)[2] is an American attorney and State Department official who served as Inspector General of the Department of State and led the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of State.[3] In 2013, he was nominated by President Barack Obama and was confirmed by the United States Senate.[4][5] Linick was removed from office by Donald Trump on May 15, 2020, effective in 30 days per federal law, with Stephen Akard appointed acting inspector general in the interim.[6][7][8]

Early life[edit]

Linick earned his Bachelor of Arts (1985) and Master of Arts (1990) in Philosophy, and a Juris Doctor (1990) from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.[9]


Early in his career, Linick served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office and as an associate at the Newman & Holtzinger law firm in Washington, D.C.[10]

Linick served as an Assistant United States Attorney in California from 1994 to 1999 and Virginia from 1999 to 2006. He also served as Executive Director of the Department of Justice’s National Procurement Fraud Task Force and Deputy Chief of its Fraud Section in the Criminal Division from 2006 to 2010. During his tenure at the Department of Justice, he supervised and participated in white-collar criminal fraud cases involving corruption and contract fraud against the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan.[9]

He served as the first Inspector General of the Federal Housing Finance Agency from 2010 until 2013.[9]

Linick began his tenure as the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of State on September 30, 2013. As Inspector General, Linick was the senior official responsible for identifying operational risks within the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for Global Media, assessing the sufficiency of internal controls, and conducting administrative and criminal investigations of waste, fraud, mismanagement, and misconduct. He was responsible for providing oversight to more than 70,000 Department of State and U.S. Agency for Global Media employees, 270 overseas missions and other facilities worldwide, and more than $70 billion in Department of State, U.S. Agency for Global Media, and foreign assistance resources. He also served as the Associate Inspector General for designated overseas contingency operations.[9]

Trump–Ukraine scandal[edit]

In the midst of the Trump–Ukraine scandal, Linick transferred a packet of documents from Rudy Giuliani by way of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Judiciary Committee member Jamie Raskin.[11][12][13]

Report on retaliation[edit]

In 2019, Linick produced a widely read report in which he found that Trump administration officials were retaliating against career diplomats based on politics rather than merit. The report highlighted five examples.[14][15]


On May 15, 2020 President Trump fired Linick, claiming he had lost confidence in him. Linick had been probing Trump's controversial bypassing of Congress to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia.[16] Linick had also been conducting—as he testified to Congress on June 3, 2020, which was released in a transcript a week later—five investigations into the State Department, including a watchdog investigation into Secretary Mike Pompeo's alleged use of a political appointee as a domestic personal assistant.[17][18][19][20]


  1. ^ "IG Act 40: Steve A. Linick, Inspector General, Department Of State". Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency. July 10, 2018. Retrieved May 24, 2020 – via YouTube.
  2. ^ "Steve A. Linick - People - Department History - Office of the Historian". Office of the Historian. United States Department of State. Retrieved May 24, 2020.
  3. ^ Jennifer Hansler and Devan Cole (October 2, 2019). "Who is the State Department inspector general briefing Congress today?". CNN. Retrieved October 3, 2019.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  4. ^ "PN636 - Nomination of Steve A. Linick for Department of State, 113th Congress (2013-2014)". United States Congress. September 17, 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  5. ^ "President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts". White House. June 27, 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2018 – via
  6. ^ Raju, Manu (May 15, 2020). "(Untitled)". Twitter.
  7. ^ Borger, Julian (May 16, 2020). "Steve Linick: State Department official investigating Pompeo is fired". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved May 16, 2020.
  8. ^ "Trump fires State Department inspector general said to be probing Pompeo". Agence France-Presse/Reuters. May 16, 2020. Retrieved May 16, 2020 – via South China Morning Post.
  9. ^ a b c d "Steve A. Linick, Inspector General". United States Department of State. Office of Inspector General. December 3, 2014. Retrieved November 17, 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "State Dept. Finally Fills Vacant Position After Cruz Pledged to Block Nominees". Weekly Standard. June 29, 2013. Retrieved November 17, 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ VOA News (October 2, 2019). "Democrats Puzzled by State IG's 'Urgent' Meeting". Voice of America. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  12. ^ "Giuliani says State Dept vowed to investigate after he gave Ukraine docs to Pompeo". NBC News. October 3, 2019. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  13. ^ Herb, Jeremy; Fox, Lauren; Raju, Manu; Hansler, Jennifer (October 2, 2019). "State Department inspector general gives Congress documents that Giuliani provided". CNN. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  14. ^ Toosi, Nahal (November 13, 2019). "Trump aides retaliated against State staffer of Iranian descent, probe finds". Politico. Retrieved May 16, 2020.
  15. ^ McGraw, Meridith; Toosi, Nahal (May 15, 2020). "Trump ousts State Department watchdog". Politico. Retrieved May 16, 2020.
  16. ^ Cohen, Zachary (May 17, 2020). "Pompeo refused to cooperate with watchdog probe into $8B arms sale to Saudi Arabia, source says". NBC News. Retrieved May 24, 2020.
  17. ^ Lederman, Josh; Mitchell, Andrea (May 17, 2020). "Fired State Dept. watchdog was probing whether Pompeo made staffer walk dog, pick up laundry". NBC News. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  18. ^ Perano, Ursula; Falconer, Rebecca (June 11, 2020). "Fired IG says he was working on 5 investigations into State Department when he was ousted". Axios. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
  19. ^ House Committee on Foreign Affairs (June 3, 2020). "Interview of Steve Linick" (PDF). House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
  20. ^ Andrew Desiderio. "Fired watchdog was investigating arms sales to Saudi Arabia". POLITICO. Retrieved July 14, 2020.

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