Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo violated ethics rules by misusing federal resources for personal benefit, according to the reported findings of an investigation by the State Department. His wife, Susan Pompeo, was also mentioned in the report for misusing federal resources. The Pompeo’s asked employees to do personal tasks for them. These tasks were very personal in nature, including making hair appointments, taking care of their dog, and picking up dinner on more than 100 occasions. A close ally to former President Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo served as CIA director from 2017 to 2018. He left that role to serve as Secretary of State from 2018 until the end of Trump’s term in office.
What does the report say?
Mike Pompeo and Susan Pompeo, asked agency staff, including a top State Department appointee, to “undertake work of a personal nature, such as picking up personal items, planning events unrelated to the Department’s mission, and conducting such personal business,” the State Department’s Inspector General said in the report. The report also says it found evidence that Susan Pompeo tasked a senior adviser to the former secretary with purchasing or delivering personal items, ranging from flowers for friends, photograph prints, magazines for the Pompeo family, and T-shirts for a friend’s daughter in Ukraine. Many of these requests would be asked outside of regular business hours and there would be no extra compensation for the employee performing them.
The report did not find the couple exceeded ethical boundaries with the special agents protecting them.The Inspector General’s office said the Pompeos’ had committed violations of ethical conduct, in regard to the requests of personal nature. Pompeo no longer serves as secretary of state so the office said he was not subject to disciplinary action. The report made recommendations designed “to mitigate the risk of future senior leaders committing similar violations” and called on the State Department to clarify policies regarding what would be considered inappropriate. The State Department already agreed to implement all recommendations.
What did the Pomeos’ have to say?
In a letter to the inspector general’s office, Pompeo’s attorneys accused investigators of political bias. “Rather than a fair, independent, and impartial review of the facts and relevant rules, the Draft Report is replete with factual errors and incoherent and unjustified conclusions that betray the drafters’ apparent biases against Mr. Pompeo and his family,” Pompeo’s attorneys said in the letter. “At best, the Draft Report amounts to little more than a compilation of picayune complaints cherry-picked by the drafters in an effort to twist innocent, routine and even praise-worthy behavior into something nefarious,” they added. “At its worst, it is rife with deliberate misstatements and half-truths concocted to support the drafters’ seemingly politically motivated goal to find purported ethical lapses by Mr. Pompeo.” His attorney also said a majority of requests made by Susan Pompeo were asked of a longtime friend who was also her husband’s senior advisor.
Mike Pompeo also released a statement. “At no time did I, or my wife Susan, misuse taxpayer money or violate rules or ethical norms,” Mr. Pompeo said. “Our actions were constantly reviewed by dozens of lawyers, and we made massive efforts, and did, comply with every requirement. This latest IG report is yet another attempt to slander me and worse, my wife by our own government.” Pompeo is considered a potential candidate for the GOP’s presidential nomination in 2024.
Written by: Erinn Malloy