THREAD: I know there are many important stories in the news. But there's one that's not being covered. The White House has issued what I read as an implicit threat against OSC's Henry Kerner for his Kellyanne Conway report. So . . . /1
. . . this Twitter account is going to become a mostly Henry Kerner account for the next week until the deadline that the White House has set for his compliance with a dangerous and precedent-setting demand: Rescind the report or turn over his investigative work papers. /2
No Inspector General would ever comply with such a demand. Let's hope Kerner doesn't either. But Kerner faces possible firing. For what? For fulfilling the agency mission he swore to uphold. In this lawless administration, it takes courage to do your job and stand up to Trump. /3
I'm not doing this because I'm some kind of acquaintance of Kerner. I've never met the man. I publicly and vehemently criticized some guidance he issued. (Some have said I was too vehement.) I hope I get to do that again sometime, for that would mean he kept his job. /4
Kerner has displayed extraordinary courage in standing up for the rule of law -- at a personal risk. Fringe groups are attacking him, one has already released an unhinged video. The White House Counsel has smeared his integrity in an 11-page letter that borders on hysterical. /5
Instead of being fired, Kerner deserves an award for courage and, yes, loyalty -- but not the sort of loyalty our wayward President respects. Kerner's loyalty comes in the form of faithfulness to the laws of this land and the oath he took to support the Constitution. /6
If President Trump retaliates against Kerner for carrying out the very duties that President Trump and Mitch McConnell's Senate majority assigned to him, there will be a profound irony: Kerner leads the office responsible for protecting whistle blowers against retaliation. /7
June 21 is the deadline for Kerner to cave to the unabashed thuggery of White House Counsel Pat Cipollone. Complying with Cipollone's demand would mean the death of OSC's independence. This is an existential threat to OSC, which has faithfully fulfilled its mission since 1978. /8
Like the Office of Govt Ethics, the Office of Special Counsel was born in a wave of reform that followed the Watergate scandal. We're now in another period of disgraceful scandal. Like OGE, OSC is a canary in a coalmine. As goes OSC or OGE, so may go the rest of government. /9
Follow @US_OSC and @OfficeGovEthics. Let them know you support them. Tell the media to cover this story. Spread the word on Twitter. Tell your members of Congress to protect Henry Kerner and the rule of law. Before it's too late. /10
You can follow @waltshaub.
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