Energy Environment Montana Politics Ryan Zinke US Politics

“Exonerated” Ryan Zinke continues to cash in

Following Trump’s lead in denying allegations of obstructing justice, among other potential charges raised in the Mueller Report, Ryan Zinke said of the ethics probe into his time as head of the Department of the Interior that he has been cleared of all wrongdoing.

That’s a bit premature considering the Department of Justice recently added Zinke’s use of a private email account to conduct public business in its ongoing DOI investigation, according to CNN.

Borrowing from the chant at Trump rallies on Hillary Clinton’s email use, “Lock him up!” 

Zinkeleft the administration amid a swirl of federal investigations into his travel, potential conflicts of interest and his political activity,” recounts Bloomberg.com. Zinke dismissed the 15 investigations into his dealings at the helm of the Interior Department as “BS.”

But the list of malfeasance hasn’t slowed Zinke down from cashing in on his connections as former head of Interior. Bloomberg continues:

“Now, he’s going to work for oil and mining companies.

Among them: Texas pipeline supplier Cressman Tubular Products Corp. and Oasis Petroleum Inc., a Houston-based oil and gas explorer that donated tens of thousands of dollars to Zinke when he was seeking re-election to the House. In April, Zinke joined the board of U.S. Gold Corp., and is set to receive $90,000 in consulting fees from the Nevada-based mining company, according to filings.”

Supposedly, there’s a one-year cooling off period between the time someone leaves the administration and when they can start lobbying their former agencies.

Zinke’s business dealings illustrate the revolving door between government jobs and corporate interests, said Virginia Canter, chief ethics counsel for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

Zinke says it’s “consulting,” not “lobbying.” Yeah, right. And he, like Trump, is claiming “total exoneration.” That’s also a bit of a stretch. This administration is the definition of a swamp. 

Even after leaving office, he continues his assault public lands, one of the issues that most Montanans agree on — keep public lands in public hands.  You’re doing us proud, Zinke.

  

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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Pete Talbot

'Papa’ Pete Talbot is first and foremost a grandfather to five wonderful grandchildren. Like many Montanans, he has held numerous jobs over the years: film and video producer, a partner in a marketing and advertising firm, a builder and a property manager. He’s served on local and statewide Democratic Party boards. Pete has also been blogging at various sites for over a decade. Ping-pong and skiing are his favorite diversions. He enjoys bourbon.

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