Ryan Zinke Steps Down as Interior Secretary as Ethics Scandals Mount

Dec 17, 2018

President Trump has ordered Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to step down by the end of the year. Zinke’s resignation came amid at least 17 federal investigations into his suspected ethics violations and corruption, including at least one Justice Department probe that could result in criminal charges. During his less than two years at the Interior Department, Zinke presided over the largest rollback of protections to federal land in U.S. history and opened up vast swaths of U.S. coastal waters to oil and gas drilling. Trump is expected to name Zinke’s deputy, David Bernhardt, as acting interior secretary. Bernhardt is a former fossil fuel and water industry lobbyist who played a key role in weakening endangered species protections to allow for new oil and gas drilling in Western states.

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