American Oversight Statement Regarding DOI Report on Zinke Travel

report today in the Washington Post indicates that the Department of the Interior’s Inspector General has found that poor record keeping by Secretary Zinke has hampered their ongoing investigation into multiple facets of his travel, including his mixing of political events with government business, as well as the frequent presence of his wife, Lola Zinke, on official trips.

In response, American Oversight’s Executive Director, Austin Evers, released the following statement:

“From his first day on the job, Secretary Zinke has played fast and loose with the rules protecting taxpayer dollars from abuse. As a result, the public is left footing the bill for Zinke’s lavish lifestyle, from his use of military jets, to subsidizing travel by his wife, and improperly paying for him to attend political events. Just because Zinke claims he hasn’t properly maintained records doesn’t mean taxpayers aren’t being fleeced. It’s imperative that the Department of the Interior’s Inspector General gets to the bottom of Secretary Zinke’s swampy travel habits.”

American Oversight has previously investigated Secretary Zinke’s leadership of the Department of the Interior and has submitted Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests seeking records related to his travel. In addition, American Oversight sued in October on behalf of the Western Values Project to force the release of documentation for Lola Zinke’s participation on official travel.