Michael Atkinson, the outgoing top watchdog of the U.S. intelligence community, said on Sunday that he had been released by President Donald Trump for being impartial about the whistleblower complaint that triggered a presidential impeachment investigation last year.
"It is hard to believe that the president's loss of confidence in me is due to my faithful fulfillment of my legal obligations as an independent and impartial inspector general," Atkinson said in a statement.
Late Friday, the White House told Atkinson, the inspector general of the intelligence community, that he would be fired from his position in 30 days.
Atkinson was a key figure in the run-up to impeachment after believing a complaint from an unidentified whistleblower within the government that Trump had misused his office to solicit Ukraine's meddling in the 2020 U.S. election to his political advantage .
The president complained on Saturday that Atkinson had not come to speak to him about it in the White House after receiving the complaint.
"He's a total disgrace," Trump said during a briefing on the novel coronavirus pandemic.
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