President Donald Trump has fired the intelligence watchdog who handled the complaint that triggered his impeachment. Trump informed the Senate intelligence committee Friday of his decision to fire Michael Atkinson, according to a letter obtained by The Associated Press.
Atkinson joined the Trump administration in 2017, serving as the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community. Atkinson joined public service in 2002 during the George W. Bush administration, serving originally as a United States Department of Justice Criminal Division trial attorney. He then went on to serve as an Assistant United States Attorney in the DOJ's D.C. office before becoming IG.
Atkinson was a largely unknown government official until his role in the 2019 Trump-Ukraine scandal after handling a whistleblower report on a phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky where Trump requested an investigation into Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
The phone call and Atkinson's investigation was the impetus that led to House Democrats to impeach the president last December.