Politics: Trump taps Commerce watchdog to be new Interior inspector general - PressFrom - US

PoliticsTrump taps Commerce watchdog to be new Interior inspector general

08:40  12 january  2019
08:40  12 january  2019 Source:   thehill.com

Justice Dept. investigating whether Zinke lied to inspector general

Justice Dept. investigating whether Zinke lied to inspector general Trump’s interior secretary announced his resignation last month amid ethics inquiries.

A top Trump administration political appointee who just two days ago was on track to lead the Interior Department’s inspector general ’s office resigned On Thursday — amid mounting criticism by Capitol Hill Democrats and watchdog groups of what appeared to be an unorthodox arrangement between

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Trump taps Commerce watchdog to be new Interior inspector general© Greg Nash Trump taps Commerce watchdog to be new Interior inspector general President Trump has tapped Commerce Department inspector Mark Greenblatt to be the new inspector general of the Department of the Interior.

Greenblatt, who is currently the assistant inspector general for investigations at Commerce, will replace Mary Kendall, who has served as Interior's acting inspector general since 2009.

The longtime inspector and former New York litigator would enter a position in the Trump administration that was marred in controversy last year.

Zinke denies report that he lied to Interior investigators

Zinke denies report that he lied to Interior investigators Newly departed U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told The Associated Press on Thursday that he's been truthful with investigators looking into numerous ethics complaints against him and has no knowledge of a report that he lied. Zinke's comments came after The Washington Post reported Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, that the Justice Department's public integrity section was examining whether he lied to investigators from Interior's office of inspector general. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File) BILLINGS, Mont. — Newly departed U.S.

The Trump administration is moving to reassign a political appointee at the Department of Housing and Urban Development to lead an internal watchdog agency at the Interior Department. It is unusual for a political appointee to be assigned to another agency, especially an inspector general 's office.

If Interior ’s Inspector General is unable to hold Secretary Zinke accountable without political interference, it’s time for career prosecutors at The agency watchdog is also looking into Zinke’s role in the Trump administration’s rollback of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument’s boundary

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson mistakenly announced in October that Suzanne Tufts, a senior HUD official, would assume the top Interior oversight role.

Democrats and watchdog advocates raised objections that Tufts, a political appointee who worked for Trump's electoral campaign, would be conflicted as a watchdog.

An Interior spokesperson said at the time that Tufts was referred to the agency by the White House as a potential candidate for a position in the IG office but that "at the end of the day, she was not offered a job at Interior."

The confusion came as then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke faced a string of probes from Interior's inspector general, including involving his wife's travel and reports he negotiated a business deal involving the former chairman of oil service company Halliburton Co.

Watchdog group urges probe of Ivanka Trump tax break role

Watchdog group urges probe of Ivanka Trump tax break role An ethics watchdog group asked the Justice Department on Friday to investigate whether President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka violated federal conflict-of-interest law by promoting an Opportunity Zone tax break program from which she could potentially benefit. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The complaint from the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington follows an Associated Press investigation last month.

The Interior Department’s inspector general 's office has opened an investigation into Secretary Ryan Zinke’s use of taxpayer-funded charter planes, a spokeswoman said Monday. The watchdog has "received numerous complaints" and launched its investigation late last week, said Nancy K. DiPaolo

Thus far, Trump has lagged behind the pace of his predecessors, partially because he has nominated far fewer candidates, something he has said he’s doing on purpose. Inspector General , National Security Agency. Department of Defense. United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico.

Shortly after the controversy, Tufts resigned from her position in HUD.

Greenblatt, who will still need to be confirmed by the Senate, would become the top watchdog overseeing the Department of Interior.

His nomination also comes as Trump has yet to select a replacement for Zinke, his first Interior secretary who resigned in December.

The White House said Friday that Greenblatt has more than 15 years of oversight experience at the Commerce Department IG office and with the Justice Department's top watchdog.

He previously clerked for U.S. District Judge Anita Brody and worked as chief counsel for the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.


Watchdog group: Trump had over 1,400 conflicts of interest in first two years.
A government watchdog group estimates that President Trump had more than 1,400 conflicts of interests during his first two years in office. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) released a report Thursday claiming that the president tried to promote his businesses as extensions of his presidenc y and administration. During Trump's second year in office, CREW reported more than 900 interactions between the Trump administration and the Trump Organization.

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