State Dept: Pompeo Certifications on Saudi Arms Did Not Break the Law

State Dept IG was fired while investigating the certifications

A new “final report” from the State Department’s Acting Inspector General has concluded that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did not break the law in certifying an “emergency” to speed up US arms sales to Saudi Arabia and avoid congressional oversight.

Skirting limitations on arms sales, in light of war crimes in Yemen, has been very controversial, and more so in this case because Inspector General Steve Linick was investigating Pompeo’s certification and was suddenly fired.

After Linick’s firing, he was replaced by Stephen Akard, and it was Akard’s deputy, Diana Shaw, who ultimately decided that Pompeo’s actions were lawful. Linick’s firing only added to congressional concerns that the administration acted to protect the arms sales.

The Trump Administration has made clear that arms sales are a top priority, and dismissed questions about the firing of Linick, saying it was done entirely on Pompeo’s advice.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.