Trump fires watchdog who handled Ukraine complaint

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WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 04: Michael Atkinson, Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, leaves a meeting in the U.S. Capitol October 4, 2019 in Washington, DC. Atkinson met with the House Select Committee on Intelligence today in the ongoing impeachment inquiry against U.S. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has fired Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence community who handled the whistleblower complaint that triggered Trump’s impeachment.

Trump informed the Senate intelligence committee Friday of his decision to fire Atkinson, according to a letter obtained by The Associated Press.

Trump said in the letter that it is “vital” that he has confidence in the appointees serving as inspectors general, and “that is no longer the case with regard to this inspector general.”

Atkinson was the first to inform Congress about an anonymous whistleblower complaint last year that described Trump’s pressure on Ukraine to investigate Democrat Joe Biden and his son. That complaint prompted a House investigation that ultimately resulted in Trump’s impeachment.

The Senate acquitted Trump in February.

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