The newly fired head of the Voice of America’s guardian company blew $4 million on lawyers over 5 months, largely to spy on workers, The Washington Post reported Monday.
The expenditure was a part of a purge of profession Voice of America officers and journalists to get replaced by those that would promote Donald Trump forward of the presidential election, in keeping with a whistleblower’s complaint to Congress final week.
The cash flowed to 2 legislation corporations in no-bid contracts awarded by Michael Pack, the Trump-appointed head of the U.S. Agency for Global Media who was compelled out final week by President Joe Biden’s incoming administration. One prime lawyer within the deal was reportedly paid $1,470 an hour.
The association was uncovered in a whistleblower complaint on the “gross waste of taxpayer dollars” filed final week by the Government Accountability Project, a legislation agency that represents whistleblowers. The State Department’s inspector common launched an investigation after receiving paperwork supporting the grievance, sources advised the Post.
Pack employed Washington corporations McGuireWoods and Caplin & Drysdale in obvious violation of federal contracting rules with out aggressive bidding, the Post reported. McGuireWoods was reportedly paid greater than $3 million to gather worker emails, compile dossiers and construct instances of alleged “misconduct” to justify Pack’s purge, in keeping with the Post and the Government Accountability Project.
Pack, a right-wing documentary producer, was put in eight months in the past atop the company that oversees the VOA, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and Radio Free Asia. He was advisable for the job by ally Steve Bannon, the previous White House strategist pardoned by Trump on expenses of defrauding supporters of the ex-president’s promised border wall.
A bunch of fired U.S. Agency for Global Media managers sued Pack in October, looking for protections for employees and the group’s journalism. “As Defendants seek to tear down the integrity and credibility of the USAGM networks, the vacuum will be filled by propagandists whose messages will monopolize global airwaves,” the lawsuit warned.
In Pack’s waning days, VOA White House correspondent Patsy Widakuswara was demoted after she tried to ask then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo robust questions, triggering bipartisan congressional outrage. Widakuswara was again covering the White House on Friday.
President Joe Biden final week changed Pack with VOA worker Kelu Chao, who instantly eliminated all group board members picked by Pack.
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