Inspectors general are supposed to be independent actors with oversight power within the executive branch. What happens when presidents fire them? This week, President Trump did just that for Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community inspector general who forwarded information about the Ukraine whistleblower’s report to Congress, and for Glenn Fine, the inspector general who was tapped to oversee distribution of coronavirus relief funds. Can he just do that? Is there any penalty for breaking those norms? President Trump has been sending a lot of signals that he doesn’t want to be investigated over anything related to the coronavirus response. Are there big fights ahead between Congress and the executive branch over oversight? And what would they be able to accomplish?
A non-profit in Washington state is suing Fox News for airing misinformation about the coronavirus outbreak. Will this be successful? Does Fox News really have any liability here?
Plus: Ken updates us on a hearing held over Zoom, and Michael Avenatti is closer to being released from prison.