Facing 17 Ethics Investigations and a Subpoena From House Dems, Ryan Zinke Set to Resign by End of the Year
September 16, 2020 | News | No Comments
After racking up 17 federal investigations into suspected ethics violations and facing likely questioning by a House panel over his conduct in office, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is set to resign from the Trump administration at the end of the year.
President Donald Trump announced Zinke’s impending departure in a tweet Saturday morning, saying that a replacement would be announced next week.
Ethics watchdogs and climate action groups alike applauded the announcement, as Zinke’s close ties to the fossil fuel industry were cause for great concern about his lack of interest in fulfilling the stated mission of the Interior Department, instead giving favorable treatment to oil and gas companies.
“Zinke’s days of plundering our lands and enriching himself and his friends are over,” said Nicole Ghio, a program manager at Friends of the Earth (FOE). “With an average of nearly one federal investigation opened into his conduct in office per month, Zinke’s highly questionable ethics have finally caught up with him. Now, he is just another name on Trump’s list of disgraced cabinet officials, which the Republican-led Congress has failed to hold accountable.”
“Ryan Zinke’s tenure at the Department of Interior was a disaster for public lands of historic proportions,” said Chris Saeger, executive director of the Western Values Project. “The public and Congress should continue their commitment to vigilant oversight over the ongoing ethical abuses at Interior in order to repair its reputation.”
Zinke’s departure may help him avoid the questioning that Rep. Raul Griljalva (D-Ariz.) planned to subject him to in January when he takes the helm of the House Natural Resources Committee, over a land deal that was backed by a Halliburton executive in Zinke’s hometown of Whitefish, Montana.
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