Pompeo Illegally Bypassed Congress to Sell Arms to Saudis: That’s the Story

5 mins read

Mike Pompeo must be ecstatic. After news broke that President Trump had fired State Department Inspector General Steve Linick at Pompeo’s request, the media buzz focused on Linick’s investigation into the Secretary of State’s improper use of staff for running personal errands.

Phew. Better that than the illegal fast-tracking of arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Though the alleged dog walking and dry cleaning services performed for Pompeo by taxpayer-funded federal employees were technically illegal, in the Trump era they surface only as novel, piddly corruption. Republicans can brush off complaints about this type of abuse of office as liberal bellyaching. They’ve gotten very good at it, and much of the media lets them get away with it.

In reality, the administration wants attention on dog walkers, because they don’t want any daylight on Linick’s investigation into Pompeo’s bypassing of Congress – potentially illegally – to fast-track billions in arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Here’s the story.

The Trump Administration has a deeply troubling and likely corrupt affinity for the Saudi regime. From refusing to condemn Saudi Arabia’s brutal war in Yemen, to running interference for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after his assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, to most recently not even batting an eyelash after the revelation that the Saudi Air Force member who killed three US service members at a Pensacola Air Base last December had ties to al-Qaeda – the Trump Administration is always there to cater to the needs of the Saudi regime.

Why? Good question. We need to be asking it 24/7.

All of this serves as backdrop to the $8 billion arms deal in 2019 that sent ample weapons of war to Saudi Arabia – and which senior career officials advised against. The sale was made possible by an “emergency” declaration that allowed Trump and the State Department to bypass required Congressional consent.

None of the reasons Secretary Pompeo gave to justify an “emergency” declaration hold water. Nothing had shifted significantly in Iran’s posturing. The region wasn’t rapidly destabilizing. China and Russia weren’t making significant moves to elbow in on our positioning with Saudi Arabia.

There was no emergency.

The arms, however, would provide great assistance to the Saudis for their brutal war in Yemen that has caused endless suffering.

Indeed, fresh reporting shows that Pompeo reverse-engineered the emergency declaration, based on a political goal of getting arms to the Saudis as quickly as possible without Congressional approval.

In the end, Congress woke up and attempted to stop the arms sale, but Trump vetoed their attempt.

Why? What does Saudi Arabia have on Donald Trump? Or – what are they offering to Trump and to loyalists like Pompeo?

As activists, we need to:

  • Dig in on this administration’s ties to the Saudi Regime.
  • Call our Representatives and demand Congressional investigation into Secretary Pompeo’s actions and the Trump Administration’s ties to Saudi Arabia.
  • Call our Representatives and tell them that we support investigation into Trump’s repeated firing of Inspectors General within federal agencies.
  • Not let this story die with the news cycle – keep tweeting, posting and blogging about Pompeo & Trump’s corruption.

Sample Social Media Posts

Copy and paste the following into Twitter or Facebook, adding your own twists:

Mike Pompeo lied to bypass Congress and fast-track arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Why? We need to know! #DemCast @SecPompeo <tag your congressional reps> https://demcastusa.com/2020/05/22/pompeo-illegally-bypassed-congress-to-sell-arms-to-saudis/

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. The Trump Administration is ALWAYS going to the mat for Saudi Arabia: Khashoggi. Yemen. Arms Deals. WE NEED ANSWERS. What’s the quid pro quo? #DemCast @SecPompeo <tag your congressional reps> https://demcastusa.com/2020/05/22/pompeo-illegally-bypassed-congress-to-sell-arms-to-saudis/

We need to hammer this home. Mike Pompeo declared a false emergency to bypass Congress and fast-track arms sales to Saudi Arabia. DON’T LET THIS STORY DIE. We need accountability. #DemCast @SecPompeo <tag your congressional reps> https://demcastusa.com/2020/05/22/pompeo-illegally-bypassed-congress-to-sell-arms-to-saudis/

Graphic to use in tweets and posts:

Articles to Amplify:

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

Nick Knudsen - a political activist and freelance writer living in the Pacific Northwest - is DemCast USA's Executive Director. Nick has worked in the non-profit sector for nearly 20 years as a writer, development officer and program director. He has a BA from Cornell and MA from Stanford, but didn't start learning until he had kids.

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