Under Secretary of State for Management Brian Bulatao is expected to testify before the House Foreign Affairs Committee next month as part of an investigation into the firing of State Department Inspector General Steve Linick, committee Chairman Eliot L. Engel announced Monday.
Mr. Linick was ousted from his role May 15 after President Trump said he no longer had the “fullest confidence” in him. Mr. Linick had been in the position since 2013. The House panel quickly launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the firing.
Mr. Engel, New York Democrat, said Mr. Bulato has emerged as a “central figure” in Mr. Linick’s ouster.
“The American people deserve to know the truth about why the President sacked one of our government’s independent watchdogs,” the chairman said in a statement. “Up to this point, the administration has hidden behind smears and conspiracy theories instead of answering questions.”
Shortly after the firing, Mr. Engel said the move could be linked to an investigation into Mr. Trump’s emergency declaration to push a controversial weapons deal with Saudi Arabia last year. Democrats have since recommended that Mr. Linick’s firing be reversed.
Last month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he “regrets” not recommending that Mr. Linick be removed from his role earlier and insisted the inspector general was “investigating policies he simply didn’t like.”
“I’m glad that Mr. Bulatao has decided to comply with the Committee’s request to appear on the record,” Mr. Engel said. “I look forward to his testimony, and I encourage the administration to make available the other witnesses we’ve requested.”