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Zinke to Step Down From Interior Department Amid Ethics Inquiries

by Countable | 12.15.18

On Saturday morning, President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke would step down by the end of the year.

Trump didn’t specify whether Zinke resigned or was fired.

Backdrop

Zinke has spent two years at the helm of the Interior Department, which oversees federal land, wildlife, and Native American relations. During his tenure, he has faced mounting allegations of misconduct while in office.

Zinke has been the target of an Interior Department’s inspector general investigation over concerns about his travel and “potential conflicts of interest.”

A recent report from the Union of Concerned Scientists documented suppression of science, denial of climate change, and the silencing and intimidation of Interior staff under Zinke’s leadership.

Newly-elected House Democrats have also raised the prospect of Congressional probes of Zinke’s alleged misconduct.

What’s next?

Jennifer Jacobs, a Bloomberg reporter who announced Zinke’s departure ahead of Trump’s tweet, said that several people are under consideration to replace him, including Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), Adam Laxalt, Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI), Gov. Butch Otter (R-ID), and Sean Reyes.

David Bernhardt, the deputy Interior secretary, could take over as acting secretary, although Trump recently subverted this succession convention when he nominated then-Justice Department Chief of Staff Matthew Whitaker to temporarily replace recently fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions, rather than Sessions’ Deputy Attorney General at the time.

Trump said he’d nominate Zinke’s replacement next week. The Cabinet post requires Senate confirmation.

What do you think?

Do you support Zinke’s departure? Tell your reps what you think, then share your thoughts below.

—Sara E. Murphy

(Photo Credit: Ryan Zinke / Public Domain)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(175)
  • Chickie
    Voted Happy
    12/15/2018
    ···

    Cue N’Sync, ‘Bye, Bye,Bye’, you are NOT a geologist Zinke. Before you leave, you have to repay the taxpayers for all the money you stole from us! There seems to be a common denominator with #45’s administrational departures, other than being thieves, corrupt, and without morals, they all sense the sinking ship of #45.

    Like (74)
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  • thegrizzled1
    Voted Apathetic
    12/15/2018
    ···

    Water is wet, fire is hot, and the Trump administration is corrupt. Anyone who is still pretending that they will ever show a modicum of decorum or honor to the office is beyond delusional. Even his daughter Ivanka now has been shown to be a chip off the old block by her reckless disregard of law by her booking and overcharging for inauguration guest rooms at Trump hotels during Don Vito Trumps inauguration. The fact that he is still POTUS is tragic at best. America has become the laughing stock of the world. He needs to go.

    Like (55)
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  • TrulyTexan
    12/15/2018
    ···

    Let’s make this inquiry simple. If he is a republican, he has no ethics. Or morals. Or humanity. Just another criminal getting away with it.

    Like (38)
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  • Leon
    Voted Sad
    12/15/2018
    ···

    Restitution and jail time based on the level of spending.

    Like (35)
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  • Millie
    12/15/2018
    ···

    Prosecute all of them. starting with Nunes, Ryan, McConnel, Hatch, Grassley, etc. you know who they are. Santorum, Graham. They are all complicit and accepting money from Russia. Santorum was with Butina

    Like (30)
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  • Christopher
    Voted Apathetic
    12/15/2018
    ···

    Investigation should continue and if necessary charges should be brought forward to send the message misuse of public funds will not be tolerated.

    Like (23)
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  • Ellen
    Voted Happy
    12/15/2018
    ···

    The whole administration is corrupt. Get rid of them all! Come on GOP try for once to help the country

    Like (22)
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  • SneakyPete
    Voted Sad
    12/15/2018
    ···

    HOW ABOUT SOME MUCH NEEDED DEMOCRATIC ETHICS INVESTIGATIONS BEING CONDUCTED SOON FOLKS? 🙀🙀🙀 SneakyPete..... 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻. 12*15*18......

    Like (15)
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  • John
    Voted Happy
    12/16/2018
    ···

    Once again another Republican caught with his hand in the cookie jar. What an absolutely huge surprise. I find it almost incomprehensible that anyone would vote for these people, what are they thinking?That they’re just like me they’re millionaires they’ve never worked a day in her life for anything. Your dad left them in piles of cash. They were able to dodge the draft because of their deep pockets. Their lawyer it up to the neck in case they do anything tawdry they can squirm out of it like a Snake. Oh yeah they’re just like you that’s why you vote for them. Wake up. They’re not like you and they never were. And really when you think about it, which you really want to be just like them.

    Like (17)
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  • JamieD
    Voted Happy
    12/15/2018
    ···

    Good. Now make him pay back what he owes the American taxpayers.

    Like (16)
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  • Rosalind
    Voted Sad
    12/15/2018
    ···

    Heaven forbid he’s replaced by the ALEC puppet Scott Walker. We know he will be of the same ilk. He has a track record. He has decimated the state of Wisconsin with his “divide and conquer” strategy. Wisconsin’s state debt is increased for decades, the proud ecological legacy, top flight educational system and unions no longer exist. Cronies have been rewarded with positions and tax breaks, and just yesterday he signed the sneaky coup passed in a lame duck session to undermine the next governor. He has taken advantage of these powers for the last 8 years without even a peep of unfairness. Finally his stellar performance as a candidate for the presidency would hopefully put him at the bottom of any Washington list.

    Like (13)
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  • Cndrla
    Voted Happy
    12/15/2018
    ···

    Yay! Another dirt ball gone. This entire administration is a disgrace to this country and the good honest hardworking Americans. We won’t forget the Republicans who did nothing while this administration continued to lie and cheat. Vote them out! Resist this is not the new normal!!!!

    Like (13)
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  • Chips
    Voted Happy
    12/15/2018
    ···

    Good, however who is the idiot Trump going to nominate next, Geraldo Rivera !

    Like (13)
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  • Milan
    Voted Happy
    12/15/2018
    ···

    Finally! He is a disaster for our environment

    Like (13)
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  • Curt
    Voted Happy
    12/15/2018
    ···

    Thank God that agent for the fossil fuel industry is out. Let’s see if we get someone without personal gain interests in his place.

    Like (13)
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  • Jill
    Voted Happy
    12/16/2018
    ···

    It’s about flipping time! He should have been fired a long time ago!

    Like (12)
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  • Mark
    Voted Happy
    12/15/2018
    ···

    While I’m glad Zinke is leaving the EPA, this administration has a way of making grim situations unbearable. The successor of this position is likely to be even more of a disaster than Zinke has been. Please oppose the next nomination if they’re as predictably bad as Zinke was.

    Like (12)
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  • Matthew
    Voted Happy
    12/15/2018
    ···

    That’s what happens when crooked individuals are put into positions of power by fellow crooked individuals . . . Investigations, resigning to get out of trouble . . .

    Like (11)
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  • Donna
    Voted Happy
    12/15/2018
    ···

    It is beyond time - must mean he has squeezed all the $$ he could easily find out of the American public and our natural resources. This should not end the ethics investigations into his abhorrent behavior and policies. Although no longer in the administration, he needs to be held accountable for his misdeeds on the public's dime!

    Like (11)
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  • NoHedges
    Voted Happy
    12/16/2018
    ···

    How much do you think Zinke has made while working for old Vladimir Putin?

    Like (11)
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