White House concerned Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke violated federal rules

By Juliet Elperin, Josh Dawsy and Lisa Rein as published on The Washington Post

“…administration officials’ concerns have intensified as allegations have grown against Zinke”

The White House is growing increasingly concerned about allegations of misconduct against Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, according to two senior administration officials, and President Trump has asked aides for more information about a Montana land deal under scrutiny by the Justice Department.

Trump told his aides that he is afraid Zinke has broken rules while serving as the interior secretary and is concerned about the Justice Department referral, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter. But the president has not indicated whether he will fire the former Navy SEAL and congressman and has asked for more information, the officials said.

This week, Interior’s Office of Inspector General referred the inquiry — one of several probes into the secretary’s conduct — to the Justice Department to determine whether a criminal investigation is warranted. That referral concerns Zinke’s involvement in a Whitefish, Mont., land development deal backed by David J. Lesar, chairman of the oil services firm Halliburton.

The business and retail park, known as 95 Karrow, would be near parcels of land owned by Zinke and his wife, Lola. The inspector general is looking at discussions Zinke had with Lesar and others about the development that could indicate he was using his office to enrich himself.

Interior has played no role in the Montana project, but congressional Democrats asked for an investigation in June because the department issues regulations on oil and gas development that have financial implications for companies such as Lesar’s.

No decision about Zinke’s tenure has been made, the officials said. But the shift within the West Wing highlights the extent to which the interior secretary’s standing has slipped in recent months…(CONTINUED)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/white-house-concerned-interior-secretary-ryan-zinke-violated-federal-rules/2018/11/01/e5e4d2f4-dddc-11e8-b3f0-62607289efee_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.da6c39766090

7 comments

  1. Interior secretaries come and go with each change of administration
    You have to get to the core of the problem in order to fix it

    The Plot to Loot America’s Wilderness
    A little-known bureaucrat named James Cason is reshaping the Department of the Interior.
    “There’s not a lot of flash. He works long hours—whatever it takes.”
    By Adam Federman
    NOVEMBER 16, 2017

    Tne day in Mid-March, JAMES CASON, the associate deputy secretary at the Department of the Interior, convened an impromptu meeting of the senior staff of the Bureau of Land Management. Cason, whose office is on the sixth floor, rarely wandered the halls, and some career civil servants still had never met him. A soft-spoken and unassuming man, Cason has cycled in and out of Republican administrations since the early 1980s and has largely avoided public attention. But people who have worked with him know him as a highly effective administrator and a disciple of some of the department’s most notorious anti-environment leaders in previous years—a “hatchet man,” in the words of one former DOI employee who worked with him during the George W. Bush administration.

    Cason, who once described himself as the department’s “regulatory czar,”has also overseen the dismantling of rules governing energy development on public lands. The DOI is poised to open up millions of acres to drilling and mining—from Utah’s red-rock country to the frigid, perilous waters off Alaska’s coast—while stripping away basic environmental protections and reducing transparency.

    The Department of the Interior is made up of nine bureaus, including the BLM and the Fish and Wildlife Service, with 70,000 employees and state and regional offices across the country. Secretary Zinke, a former Navy SEAL and one-term US congressman, has no experience managing such a large, decentralized bureaucracy, and he has relied heavily on his political appointees to run the department’s day-to-day operations. With Cason at the helm, a small circle of insiders orchestrated the aggressive deregulatory agenda and the unprecedented reshuffling of career staff.

    https://www.thenation.com/article/the-plot-to-sell-americas-wilderness/

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  2. Associate Deputy Secretary of the Interior
    JAMES CASON

    James Cason is serving as the Associate Deputy Secretary of the Department of Interior. The Associate Deputy Secretary of the Interior “reports to the Deputy Secretary and is the Deputy Secretary’s principal aide” and “provides advice and assistance in the administration of the Deputy Secretary’s responsibilities, by managing internal and program activities of the office.” The specific duties of the Associate Deputy Secretary include “acting as the focal point for review of proposed policies, regulations, and legislation, in order to ensure coordination within DOI and with other agencies, Congress, public interest groups, and state, local, and tribal governments.” Additionally, “the Associate Deputy Secretary is the Deputy Secretary’s liaison to DOI’s legislative and communications directors, and… coordinates sensitive discussions between the Deputy Secretary and other high-level DOI officials.”

    James Cason, who has been described as a “‘100 percent corporation man,’”

    SPECIAL INTERESTS (See Chart Below)

    After working in the Reagan administration, James Cason reportedly worked as a timber lobbyist.

    In the 1990s, James Cason worked for the Carborundum Corporation, a ceramics maker whose parent company was purchased by Standard Oil of Ohio, which was later purchased by BP.

    In 2001, under James Cason’s leadership, a computer system at the Interior Department controlling trust fund payments to American Indians was shut down. As a result, $15 million in payments went unpaid, putting the “health and livelihood of thousands of individual Indians throughout the country in disarray.”

    Ihttps://departmentofinfluence.org/person/james-cason/

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    • Had forgotten about Mr. Cason! I remember you posted other little informative facts about him a few months ago. Sound more dangerous than Zinke – in the shadows getting all kinds of sneaky stuff done! So after he shut down the Indian’s trust fund payments – was that corrected? I’m sure he feels right in tune with the present bunch of crooks.

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  3. Maggie, this is what the article states.

    In 2005, in response to class-action legislation brought by Elouise Cobell, James Cason said Native Americans were not “victimized” by accounting practices at the Interior Department and claimed that the Interior Department’s accounting was “pretty darn accurate.” However, DOI would go on to settle with Elouise Cobell for $3.4 billion, which was “considered the largest class action lawsuit in US history.”
    https://departmentofinfluence.org/person/james-cason/

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    • Read much of that – got into the part where Trump “testified” at a hearing in 1993 – trying to prevent an Indian casino being built (because at the time he had casinos!) everything he said was exactly what he has been saying the past 3-5 & on years! Except for one thing – the politicians at that hearing were shocked & disgusted with him!
      As we all are now!
      Almost too much to take in – especially after the last 2 years. Too much is an understatement. Please, Please, Please – VOTE!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Devil’s Garden Wild Horse Emergency Rescue–SAVE the DG 300 from Slaughter!.

    Important Update From USFS: NO MORE VIEWING at Double Devil Corrals after Sun. 11/4 (4 PM) until 1st Adoption Event 11/16 & 11/17.

    Nov. 2 wild horse gather update
    Release Date: Nov 3, 2018

    Eight horses were gathered yesterday from the Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horse Territory, making the total 745.

    Public viewing at the sorting facility will be from 5-5:30 p.m. today, and at 4 p.m. tomorrow due to the time change. In order to ensure a calm environment for the horses and allow facility personnel time to make them ready for selection and placement into their new homes, the next opportunity to view horses will be during the first adoption event on Nov. 16 and 17.

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    • My interpretation of the statement is:
      … in order to allow facility personnel time to sell a few truck loads of our wild horses to KB without the public becoming aware …

      And besides, the USFS & contractors could care less about the horses having a calm environment as proven by the highly stressful and torturous helicopter captures and subsequent trailering and especially the separation of all of them from their family members which is the ultimate stress for a wild horse.

      If the USFS and their crooked co-horts are not doing anything wrong then there is NO reason that members of the public should not be allowed to observe.

      Like

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