Watchdog: Trump official boosted former employer in Interior committee membership

While in office, a Trump-era official boosted representatives of their former employer during the selection process for an Interior Department advisory committee, according to a new watchdog report. 
The Interior Department inspector general’s office said that a senior political official, who remained nameless in the report, did not comply with part of the ethics pledge prohibiting them from participating in particular matters involving parties related to their former employer.
The watchdog accused the Trump official of violating the ethics rule. 

The report said that the person repeatedly emailed a representative of their former employer in the fall of 2017. 

It also said that during the same year, the official emailed numerous interested parties, including representatives of their former employer, in an announcement about a council aimed at advising then-Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeGOP-aligned Congressional Leadership Fund unveils first midterm endorsements Trump's relocation of the Bureau of Land Management was part of a familiar Republican playbook Watchdog: Trump official boosted former employer in Interior committee membership MORE on a range of issues. 

The person told the watchdog that in 2018, they sent the department’s then-chief of staff a list of prospective nominees that included two representatives for their former employer. 


For a separate advisory council, the official helped to determine term limits of one, two or three years for members that included a representative of the former employer and a former member of that organization’s board of directors, the report said. 

The person left the department in the summer of 2019. 

This is not the first time that the Trump-era advisory councils have come under scrutiny.

HuffPost reported in 2018 that Interior official Ben Cassidy, a former National Rifle Association lobbyist, helped to launch a wildlife conservation board even though a former colleague was a member.