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Trump DOJ appointees stalled investigation into Zinke: report

Trump DOJ appointees stalled investigation into Zinke: report

Department of Justice officials pointed to Trump political appointees for stalling a case into former Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Interior shortlist puts focus on New Mexico lawmakers | Progressives criticize Biden transition over volunteer who represented Exxon | Trump DOJ appointees stalled investigation into Zinke: report Trump DOJ appointees stalled investigation into Zinke: report GOP Rep. Greg Gianforte wins Montana governor's race MORE, according to a Tuesday report from The New York Times.

Lawyers in the Public Integrity Section were told by Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen that they would need a stronger case before they could proceed with charging Zinke with lying to federal investigators. 

Zinke, who resigned at the end of 2018, was the subject of more than a dozen investigations into his conduct in office, including scrutiny over a land deal involving a foundation he led and a company backed by David Lesar, chairman of oilfield services company Halliburton. Zinke denied wrongdoing in the matter.

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Interior’s Office of Inspector General referred its probe into the deal to the Department of Justice for potential prosecution of conflict of interest laws.

Sources that spoke with the Times listed the incident as an example of top department officials hindering investigations into President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden adds to vote margin over Trump after Milwaukee County recount Krebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election 'farcical'  Republicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden MORE and his highest-ranking officials.

According to the report, Rosen expressed doubts about the case, and prosecutors agreed to continue their work, leaving the investigation open.