STATEMENT on investigation into Secretary Zinke being referred to Department of Justice

Oct 30, 2018

October 30, 2018

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is facing at least six open investigations into his conduct

DENVER—In response to today’s reporting by The Washington Post that the Department of the Interior’s Office of Inspector General referred an investigation into Secretary Ryan Zinke to the Department of Justice, the Center for Western Priorities released the following statement from Executive Director Jennifer Rokala:

“Since stepping into his role as interior secretary, Ryan Zinke has repeatedly leveraged his office for personal gain, attracting unprecedented scrutiny from government investigators. We are glad to see Interior’s Inspector General take these matters seriously and refer the investigation into the secretary’s conduct to the Department of Justice.

“The timing of Secretary Zinke’s attempt to remove Interior’s acting Inspector General and replace her with a political appointee earlier this month raises serious questions about whether the secretary was trying to dodge scrutiny. If Interior’s Inspector General is unable to hold Secretary Zinke accountable without political interference, it’s time for career prosecutors at the Justice Department to take over.”

Secretary Zinke is facing at least six open investigations into his conduct, the most serious of which involves a land deal with the chairman of Halliburton.

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