A government watchdog fired suddenly by Donald Trump was investigating Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, said a Democratic lawmaker who accused the US president of committing a potentially illegal act of retribution.
Mr Trump sacked State Department Inspector General Steve Linick late on Friday in his latest abrupt dismissal of an official tasked with monitoring wrongdoing inside a government agency.
Eliot Engel, who heads the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said he had learned that Mr Linick had opened an investigation into Mr Pompeo.
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The State Department confirmed Mr Linick's firing but did not comment on the reason or on whether Mr Pompeo was under investigation.
A State Department spokesperson said the new inspector general will be Stephen Akard, a former aide to Vice President Mike Pence from his home state of Indiana.
Since his acquittal by the Senate, Mr Trump has fumed against a "Deep State" he sees as out to get him. »