Akard became inspector general after Trump fired Steve Linick at the recommendation of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The decision immediately prompted criticism from lawmakers because Linick had been investigating allegations that Pompeo and his wife, Susan, had improperly used State Department resources. Linick was also examining several other issues, including Pompeo’s decision to expedite arms sales to Saudi Arabia over the objections of Congress.
In recent days, Akard promised to recuse himself from ongoing investigations of Pompeo and his wife following pressure from congressional Democrats who have questioned whether Pompeo pushed for Linick’s ouster to bury the investigations. Pompeo has denied those allegations and said he didn’t even know about the content of Linick’s investigations except for the one involving arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
“Ambassador Stephen J. Akard, the State Department’s Acting Inspector General and the Director of the Office of Foreign Missions, has announced he is returning to the private sector after years of public service,” the statement said. “We appreciate his dedication to the Department and to our country. The Deputy Inspector General, Diana R. Shaw, will become the new Acting Inspector General.”