Trump picks White House lawyer to serve as Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery

Screengrab CSPAN

President Donald Trump officially nominated White House attorney Brian Miller on Monday to serve as the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery, as part of the oversight required by the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill.

The new position will fall under the Treasury Department with oversight powers into the federal government’s coronavirus response, and is authorized for five years.

The nomination was reportedly sent to the Senate on Monday, according to the Daily Caller, where it must be approved.

Miller previously served as inspector general for the General Services Administration for nearly a decade, and is known for the investigation of a lavish Las Vegas conference hosted by the GSA in 2010.

The White House noted that as the GSA inspector general, Miller “led more than 300 auditors, special agents, attorneys, and support staff in conducting nationwide audits and investigations.”

He also served as senior counsel to the deputy attorney general in the Department of Justice.

Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight described Miller as “serious” inspector general while at the GSA.

“He was a very serious IG at GSA,” Brian told the Washington Post. “The best specific example is he went toe to toe with the GSA administrator and was largely responsible for [George W.] Bush firing GSA Administrator Lurita Doan. He wasn’t afraid of taking direct action.”

Naturally, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi , D-Calif., disapproved of Trump’s selection, releasing a statement late last week that treats the administration like a lawless entity.

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

“Clearly and sadly, the President intends to double down on his signing statement promise to disregard key oversight provisions that hold the Administration accountable to the law,” the release continued. ” This nomination makes even more urgent the need for the bipartisan House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis, which will ensure that taxpayer dollars are being used wisely and efficiently to help workers and not to be exploited by profiteers and price-gougers.”

Despite several layers of oversight in the coronavirus relief bill, Pelosi announced last week a new House select committee to oversee the Trump administration coronavirus response.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., will lead the panel.

“We face a deadly virus and a battered economy with millions of Americans suddenly out of work,” Pelosi said. “Congress has taken an important step in leading this crisis by passing three bills with over $2 trillion in emergency relief. We need to ensure those dollars are spent carefully and effectively.”

White House spokesman Steven Groves dismissed the partisan pursuit that’s certain to lead to yet another investigation of the president, saying “any attempt to politicize the crisis even before it has ended is dangerous.”


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