Senate Democrats are expected to grill President ’s choice of a special inspector general to oversee trillions of dollars in funding laid out in the coronavirus stimulus package about whether he has enough independence from the White House to carry out his watchdog duties.
Brian Miller, who nominated last month to the post overseeing the Treasury Department’s implementation of the $2.2 trillion relief package, will testify before the Senate Banking Committee later Tuesday.
“If confirmed, I will conduct every audit and investigation with fairness and impartiality. I will be vigilant to protect the integrity and independence of the Office of Special Inspector General,” Miller will say in prepared remarks posted on the panel’s website. “I pledge to seek the truth in all matters that come before me and to use my authority and resources to uncover fraud, waste, and abuse.”
“I have close to 30 years of experience in the Federal government. Fifteen years in the Department of Justice and nearly 10 years as the Senate confirmed Inspector General of the General Services Administration, serving across Republican and Democrat administrations,” according to his opening statement.
“I have also served as an independent corporate monitor and practiced law in the areas of ethics and compliance, government contracts, and internal investigations.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) sent Miller an 11-page letter on Monday outlining her concerns about his nomination, NBC News reported.
”Your recent experience as a legal advocate for the president and the White House raises questions about your ability to immediately shift to a position where independence from the White House is a requirement,” Warren wrote.
On the same day nominated Miller, he fired Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community inspector general who alerted Congress to a whistleblower complaint about the president’s call to Ukraine that prompted the impeachment inquiry.
Warren also signaled that she will press Miller on whether as part of the president’s legal team he advised or any White House official not to release documents sought in congressional investigations.
“What action will you take if the president refuses to allow you to report relevant information to Congress,” she wrote.