The Washington Post Sunday
Active investigations involving Ryan Zinke
Montana land deal. Zinke reached an agreement last year with Halliburton Chairman David J. Lesar and local developers in Whitefish, Mont., that involved land owned by his family foundation. The operations of Halliburton, a giant in oil field services, are affected by Interior Department regulations, and Interior’s inspector general’s office and the Justice Department have been examining whether the arrangement constitutes a conflict of interest. A Connecticut casino deal. Interior’s inspector general’s office is examining Zinke’s involvement in his department’s refusal to sign off on a proposed casino deal in Connecticut involving the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes. Career staffers at Interior had recommended approving the tribes’ application to jointly run the casino, but officials from MGM Resorts International — which has a casino across the border in Springfield, Mass. — lobbied against it. Exempting Florida from offshore drilling. The U.S. Office of Special Counsel is investigating whether Zinke’s promise to GOP Gov. Rick Scott at a news conference that “Florida is off the table” violated the Hatch Act, which bars the use of a federal position to influence an election. Wearing “Make America Great Again” Socks. The Office of Special Counsel is also looking into whether Zinke’s posting a photo on his official Twitter account of him wearing “Make America Great Again” socks amounts to another Hatch Act violation. Reassignment of one of Interior’s top career officials. The Office of Special Counsel is examining whether Interior officials reassigned Joel Clement, a former senior career executive at the department, to punish him for questioning Zinke’s policies.