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For Immediate Release

Press Release

Statement: House investigation shows clear quid pro quo between Trump Administration official and property developer

Former Interior Secretary’s corruption came at the expense of the environment, democracy

The House Natural Resources Committee (HNRC) today referred the results of an investigation into former Trump administration Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to the Department of Justice for a criminal inquiry. 

Kyle Herrig, President of nonpartisan watchdog Accountable.US, which closely tracked such conflicts of interest during the previous administration, released the following statement in response:

“Corruption is not a victimless crime: David Bernhardt’s dirty deal with a major Trump donor threatened wildlife, water, and natural resources that belong to all of us. We are grateful to Chairman Grijalva and Representative Porter for holding these individuals accountable, and encourage the Justice Department to take up this investigation immediately. Our priority must be restoring faith in our institutions.” 

The Interior Department’s independent oversight office recently determined that the Trump administration’s first Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, violated ethics standards in a different real estate deal involving the former chairman of Haliburton. 


Accountable.US is a nonpartisan watchdog that exposes corruption in public life and holds government officials and corporate special interests accountable by bringing their influence and misconduct to light. In doing so, we make way for policies that advance the interests of all Americans, not just the rich and powerful. 

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