Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said he’s resigning his post due to “false allegations” of wrongdoing.
I love working for the President and am incredibly proud of all the good work we’ve accomplished together. However, after 30 years of public service, I cannot justify spending thousands of dollars defending myself and my family against false allegations. Full statement attached. pic.twitter.com/gwo75SA6bM
— Secretary Ryan Zinke (@SecretaryZinke) December 15, 2018
No fewer than nine investigations into Zinke’s behavior, past and present, were launched by various entities during his tenure.
The Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General recently referred one case to the Justice Department for potential prosecution — an accusation that he entered into a land deal with the chairman of oilfield services company Halliburton Co.
He’s also been accused of letting his family ride in government vehicles and trying to replace the department’s internal watchdog with a political ally, among other allegations.
Zinke has categorically denied violating ethics rules and alleged that the accusations are politically motivated.
“The allegations against me are outrageous; they’re false,” he told Breitbart News last month.
Smoke… fire… either the media has been working overtime creating fictitious scandals or Zinke is ethically challenged.
Some of the other “false allegations”:
Another inspector general inquiry involves Mr. Zinke’s decision last year to block a proposal from two Connecticut Native American tribes to expand a casino operation.
That decision was made against the advice from experts at the Bureau of Indian Affairs and after meetings and phone calls with lobbyists from the casino giant MGM Resorts, which has opposed the tribes’ casino.
Representatives of the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes also have filed a lawsuit alleging that Mr. Zinke’s decision “was the product of improper political influence.”
“Mr. Zinke over the past year has faced a handful of accusations that he violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from using their offices to influence elections.”
Zinke has been cleared of almost all those Hatch Act violations, including a charge that he posted a picture of himself on Twitter wearing socks emblazoned with “Make America Great Again.” Clearly, some people just can’t take a joke.
As a secretary of the Interior, Zinke was adequate, if not spectacular. He kept the climate change wolves at bay, enraging Chicken Littles all around the world. He opened more federal land to development and expanded offshore drilling. Greenheads were exploding a lot on that one.
But the scandals — real or imagined — distracted from his ability to perform his job. In the end, Zinke recognized that, and it is the primary reason he was either fired by Trump or resigned.