Department of Justice officials pointed to Trump political appointees for stalling a case into former Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Biden launches blitz for jobs plan with 'thank you, Georgia' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court sets in motion EPA ban on pesticide linked to developmental issues | Trump Interior Secretary Zinke files to run for Congress, again | Senate passes bipartisan B water infrastructure bill 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.
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 TrumpCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Netanyahu suggests Biden fell asleep in meeting with Israeli PM Aides try to keep Biden away from unscripted events or long interviews, book claims 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.