No action has been recommended against the former secretary of state who is widely seen as seeking to run for president in 2024.
Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo violated federal ethics rules governing the use of taxpayer-funded resources when he and his wife asked State Department employees to perform more personal duties 100 times, a government watchdog said in a report on Friday.
Pompeo, who was the last secretary of state to former President Donald Trump, served until January 20, when Republican Trump stepped down after being defeated by Democrat Joe Biden in the November election.
Pompeo and his wife asked a politician and other employees in his office to perform tasks such as “picking up personal items, planning events unrelated to the ministry’s mission, and carrying out personal activities such as pet care and sending personal Christmas cards’, the The State Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) said in the report.
“The Pompeo made more than 100 requests for employees in the secretary’s office to do work that appeared to be of a personal nature,” the report said.
Among the incidents detailed in the report was a request by Susan Pompeo for a helper to make two salon appointments for her.
The report also states that the Pompeo’s son was given a discounted hotel room available only to government employees when he accompanied his parents to a football game listed as official travel.
No action has been recommended against Pompeo, who stepped down after Trump’s electoral defeat and is widely seen as seeking to run for president in 2024.
“ Misuse of public funds ”
Pompeo criticized the report, saying it was politically motivated and filled with factual errors.
“At no time have I, nor my wife Susan, abused taxpayer money or violated any rules or ethical standards,” Pompeo said in a statement.
“Our actions have been constantly reviewed by dozens of lawyers, and we have made massive efforts and complied with all the requirements,” he said.
— Brad Heath (@bradheath) April 16, 2021
During his tenure, Pompeo had a contentious relationship with the department’s watchdog. A former inspector general, Steve Linick, was sacked by Trump on the recommendation of Pompeo.
Linick was investigating whether Pompeo had abused a taxpayer-funded politician named to perform personal chores for himself and his wife.
The OIG said it completed most of its fieldwork on the report by August 2020. Its completion of the report was delayed because Pompeo refused to give the OIG an interview for several months before sitting down. with them in December.
A State Department spokesperson said the agency agreed with “all of the recommendations [in the report] and proceed to their implementation. “
Pompeo, a former lawyer and businessman who, unlike much of Trump’s cabinet, was not personally wealthy, recently signed on as a Fox News commentator and took a job at the Hudson Institute.