WASHINGTON – Trump Administration's protocol chief in the US State Department was fired shortly before the G20 summit for investigating allegations of discrimination and harassment. He is not expected to return to work.
Two US officials said that the Chief of Protocol staff had been informed that Ambassador Sean Lawler had been suspended indefinitely until the trial ended. A third official said Lawler has told the State Department leadership that he plans to resign from President Donald Trump after the G20 summit that begins Friday in Osaka, Japan.
Lawler, a political commissioner, was nominated by Trump for the position in September 201
Mary-Kate Fisher, Deputy Chief of Protocol, will attend the summit instead, officials said.
The Foreign Ministry declined to comment. An employee on the phone in Lawler's office Tuesday said he was not in the office. Lawler declined to comment on the record.
The US officials who reported NBC News on Lawler's situation refused to explain the details of the allegations.
Among the behaviors that, according to two US officials, was the concern, Lawler was known to carry a whip at work, which was seen as an attempt to intimidate colleagues.
A leading position in US diplomacy The Chief of Protocol is responsible for ensuring diplomatic etiquette and overseeing the production of high-level diplomatic meetings, such as bilateral meetings with the US President, the Vice-President and the Secretary of State. As a result, the Chief of Protocol frequently participates in important meetings abroad and interacts closely with foreign leaders, including kings, queens and heads of state.
The suspension is in progress as Trump prepares for the flight to Osaka. The summit brings together leaders from 20 nations and is a kind of Super Bowl for diplomats working on protocols that manage ceremonial details to create a "milieu for successful diplomacy," according to the State Department's website.
A regular lawler who participated in Trump's overseas visits was sworn in at the end of 2017, but has been in the US government for nearly three decades, according to his official biography of the State Department. His resume states that he served in the Navy for more than 20 years and also worked in the National Security Council of the White House.