A staffer, who as part of her job worked with black lawmakers, was berated and punished.
In one instance, a State Department staffer was accused of trying to "thwart" Trump and his agenda, then punished so severely she eventually left the department. Her crime? The staffer accompanied a group of black lawmakers on a trip to the United Nations, a routine part of her job.
In April 2018, a career employee — a person who works for the department in a nonpartisan manner and is not appointed by the president — traveled with a congressional delegation consisting of members of the Congressional Black Caucus on a trip to the United Nations. According to the internal investigation, someone in her position "routinely accompanies such delegations, regardless of the composition of the delegation, because it allows [the department] to identify any pressing issues of congressional concern."
Mari Stull, a Trump political appointee overseeing the staffer, was not happy about the trip.
"Ms. Stull expressed displeasure with her for accompanying the Congressional Black Caucus delegation because it consisted of only Democratic members," the investigation revealed. Further, "Stull accused the employee of trying to 'thwart' President Trump and undermine his agenda."
After the trip, the employee's job duties were changed to "mostly administrative tasks" and she eventually left the department.
The investigation found Stull and another Trump appointee, Kevin Moley, "frequently berated employees, raised their voices, and generally engaged in unprofessional behavior toward staff."
Further, the investigation uncovered accusations Stull "made inappropriate accusations of disloyalty and made positive or negative comments about employees based on perceived political views." For example, she accused some staff of being part of the "deep state" and would refer to some staffers as "Obama holdovers," "traitors," or "disloyal."
The "deep state" is a far-right conspiracy theory falsely accusing career employees in government of undermining the Trump administration.
The internal investigation found "significant evidence of systemic deficiencies in leadership and management" and "failures of leadership" in how the Trump administration dealt with the accusations.
Trump has been accused of demanding personal loyalty oaths from political appointees. But career government employees work for the American people, not for the person occupying the Oval Office. Trump's corrupt desire for personal loyalty trickled down, leading to a failure of leadership at the State Department.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.