YOU MIGHT JUST WANT TO GET TO KNOW THIS GUY: Trump selects White House lawyer for coronavirus inspector general

BY JESSE BYRNES | THE HILL

President Trump announced Friday that he has selected a member of the White House Counsel’s office to serve as the inspector general overseeing the dispersement of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funds as part of the coronavirus relief package.

Trump has tapped Brian Miller, who serves as a special assistant to the president and senior associate counsel in the White House Counsel’s office, to serve as the special inspector general for pandemic recovery.

The new position, under the Department of the Treasury, is tasked with tracking loans, loan guarantees and other expenditures made by the department. It was created as part of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief bill and is authorized for five years.

The White House noted that Miller previously served as inspector general for the General Services Administration for nearly a decade and has served in other high-profile federal positions, including within the Department of Justice as senior counsel to the deputy attorney general.

Lawmakers from both parties have called on the Trump administration to respect the oversight requirements Congress included in the relief package passed last week after the president sparked controversy when he signaled in a signing statement attached to the law that the White House would supervise the special inspector general’s reports to Congress.

“With trillions of taxpayer dollars being spent, it is critically important for the Administration to ensure full transparency and willingness for independent oversight,” Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) wrote in a letter to Trump on Friday.

Romney and Tester noted that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act established several layers of oversight for the billions in federal aid set to be dispersed: the inspector general, a congressional oversight panel and a committee of inspectors general known as the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee.

Trump on Friday also announced inspectors general nominees for several other departments and agencies, including the Pentagon, Department of Education and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

He tapped Jason Abend, a senior policy adviser for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, to serve as the Defense Department inspector general; Andrew De Mello, a trial attorney in the Department of Justice’s tax division, to serve as inspector general at the Department of Education; and Peter Thomson, a Louisiana-based attorney, to serve as inspector general for the CIA.

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