Tell House Democrats: Investigate Ryan Zinke
Thanks to the powerful resistance by CREDO members and our progressive allies, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke was forced to resign amid multiple legal and ethical scandals that mired his tenure in government.1
But that shouldn't mean Zinke, who allegedly used his office to enrich himself while launching attacks on public lands and the environment, is off the hook for his role in potential criminal activity. Rep. Raul Grijalva, progressive champion and incoming chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee has signaled plans to conduct official oversight hearings on Zinke's misdeeds in the Trump administration.2
For far too long, corrupt individuals in power, from government officials to Wall Street CEOs, have been given a free pass or a slap on the wrist for their unethical or criminal behavior. This must end now. We must ensure Rep. Grijalva's colleagues have the political will to stand with him and hold Zinke accountable.
Tell House Democrats: Investigate former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
The number of investigations Zinke faced while in office was more than the last four interior secretaries combined. The actions federal watchdogs have looked at or are looking into include Zinke's threats to a sitting senator, illegal use of a private jet, the removal of references to climate change in scientific reports and multiple violations of the Hatch Act, a law that prohibits executive branch employees from engaging in political activity.3
The most serious allegation against Zinke, about which Rep. Grijalva is most interested, involves a shady, self-enriching and potentially illegal land deal in Montana with the former CEO of oil services giant Halliburton.4 While this case has reportedly been referred to the Department of Justice for review, Congress must also fulfill its duty to conduct independent and thorough oversight, especially given Trump's meddling in personnel and other matters at the DOJ.
Activism to hold Zinke accountable has already proven effective. Zinke's resignation came after more than 114,000 CREDO activists and our progressive allies mounted a massive public pressure campaign to hold Zinke accountable, resulting in his resignation. We now must hold Zinke accountable again.
Thanks for everything you do.
- Josh Nelson, "Victory: Scandal-plagued Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke resigns," CREDO, Dec. 19, 2018.
- Mark Hand, "House Democrats won’t let Zinke escape investigation, even after he leaves office," ThinkProgress, Dec. 17, 2018.
- Juliet Eilperin, "Trump administration officials dismissed benefits of national monuments," The Washington Post, July 23, 2018.
- Juliet Eilperin, Josh Dawsey and Lisa Rein, "White House concerned Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke violated federal rules," The Washington Post, Nov. 1, 2018.