Confronted Over Ethics, Zinke Melts Down
Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.
Complicit Republicans in Congress have steadfastly refused to hold Trump’s Cabinet accountable for … well, anything.
Despite a pervasive culture of corruption throughout multiple agencies, pliant Republicans have not engaged in any actual oversight.
With a new Democratic majority in the House, Trump and his cronies are more likely to face bulldogs, not lapdogs. And ethically challenged Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is demonstrating exactly how we can expect Trump’s team to respond to actual oversight … with churlish temper tantrums.
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), who will likely chair the House Committee on Natural Resources in January, recently penned an op-ed calling on Zinke to resign.
“I take no pleasure in calling for [his resignation],” Grijalva wrote.
But he laid out the case against Zinke, which includes at least 17 publicly known ethics investigations into either Zinke or his department. One of the investigations — about a sketchy land deal that could enrich Zinke and/or his family — has been referred to the Justice Department.
“We would hardly look the other way at the mayor of a small town, let alone a cabinet secretary, who faced unending ethical questions, formal investigations and substantiated claims of attempted nepotism,” Grijalva writes.
In addition to numerous ethical lapses, Zinke “has overseen the dumbing down of science, often with a partisan edge.”
Grijalva promised to continue looking into Zinke’s unending scandals should Grijalva become chair. “If Mr. Zinke stays, stonewalling in the belief that a cabinet secretary answers only to Trump would be a mistake,” he warns.
Faced with the prospect of actual oversight, a seemingly frightened Zinke melted down and lashed out at Grijalva with childish personal attacks.
“It’s hard for him to think straight from the bottom of a bottle,” Zinke said in an official statement. Zinke went on to accuse Grijalva of “drunken and hostile behavior at work.”
Zinke is referring to a severance package Grijalva paid out to a staffer who made allegations of drinking on the job and creating a hostile work environment.
After personal attacks, Zinke resorted to the classic I-know-you-are-but-what-am-I defense, calling on Grijalva to resign and refund taxpayers for the money his own department had to spend investigating “unfounded allegations.”
If Zinke’s unprofessional response is any indication, Trump’s cabinet is woefully unprepared for actual oversight.
Trump’s cronies have breezed by with zero accountability for two years, but that all comes to an end in January.
No wonder Zinke is throwing a tantrum.
Published with permission of The American Independent.