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Trump pick for coronavirus recovery watchdog is not independent enough: Democrats

WASHINGTON U.S. President Donald Trump’s pick for the new watchdog handling $2.2-3 zillion in coronavirus-related monetary spending typically is not freelance a sufficient amount to really function, congressional Democrats said on Saturday.

The White House said late on Friday Trump would definitely labor Brian Miller, a special junior towards the chief and superior correlate counsel in the Office of White House Counsel, towards the position of special checker usual for pandemic recovery.

“The Inspector General providing oversight of the federal response of this historic relief package for workers and families must be independent from politics,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reflected in her own announcement. “The President’s nomination of one of his own lawyers clearly fails that test.

Senate Democrats, including Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and the top Democratic senator on the Senate Finance Committee, also criticized the move.

Democratic U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal said in a post on Twitter that the appointment was akin to putting a “dog in command of the henhouse.”

The new watchdog position, which comes with a $25 million budget, was created to “run, watch, and assist audits and detective of this very generating, spend money on, management, and deal of loan financing, loans pledges, as well as other money to invest” by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

If approved by the Senate, Miller would also serve on the council of inspectors general from other agencies tasked with being an uber-watchdog group with broad oversight.

Pelosi has also said she would form a bipartisan select committee on the coronavirus crisis to oversee the use of the $2.3 trillion approved by Congress to respond to the pandemic.

Before joining the White House legal team in Dec. 2018, Miller served as inspector general for the General Services Administration for nearly a decade, which performs much of the administrative work for the federal government.

He also worked in the Justice Department as special counsel on healthcare fraud.

The executive director for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, an advocacy group for ethics, Noah Bookbinder, blasted the White House’s move late on Friday.

The new role is “a key error situation that it is going to a personal specialist, no more partisan,” Bookbinder wrote in a post on Twitter.

The White House announced Trump had selected Miller for the role on the same night that he fired the inspector general of the U.S. intelligence community, Michael Atkinson.

Atkinson played a role in triggering the impeachment of the president. He determined that a whistleblower’s report was credible when it had alleged Trump abused his office to attempt to solicit Ukraine’s interference in the 2020 election for Trump’s political benefit.