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Department of Interior official Douglas Domenech

Photo source: Wikipedia

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

An inspector general report found that Assistant Interior Secretary Douglas Domenech at the U.S. Department of the Interior used his position to help his son-in-law Eric Frandy get a job at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

According to the report issued on Friday, Domenech reached out to a senior EPA official in person and via email in 2017 to persuade them to hire Frandy. He also encouraged the official to use another family member's wedding-related business.


When asked about his pressuring the official to hire his son-in-law, Domenech admitted he was "trying to influence the process to move along."

What's troubling is that Domenech didn't technically break the law because the law around this states you can't use your political influence to benefit yourself, your wife, child or business… but shilling for in-laws is totally okay.

Regardless, Domenech will be forced to undergo ethics training. But House Natural Resources Committee Chairman, Arizona Democrat Raul Grijalva, believes the training will be useless because Domenech already received two rounds of ethics training when first joining the Trump administration.

Instead, Grijalva wants Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to fire Domenech. "Firing Mr. Domenech is the only serious course of action at this point," another round of ethics training is clearly just a waste of time, since it hasn't sunk in by now," Grijalva said.

This is just the Domenech's second ethical violation that we know about so far.

"Investigators in December found that he broke federal ethics rules by twice meeting with his former employer, a conservative Texas-based policy group, to discuss legal disputes between the group and the agency in early 2017," the Star Tribune reports.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) declared on Sunday morning that she will oppose any Republican attempt to move ahead with a Supreme Court nomination to fill the seat left by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death.

"For weeks, I have stated that I would not support taking up a potential Supreme Court vacancy this close to the election," said Murkowski in a statement released by her office. "Sadly, what was then a hypothetical is now our reality, but my position has not changed."

The Alaska Republican joined Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) in opposing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's announced determination to replace Ginsburg with a Trump appointee. If McConnell loses two more Republican votes, he will be unable to move a nomination before Election Day.