Corruption and ethics violations are all too common Capitol Hill, as we’ve seen reports of many politicos facing numerous accusations in recent years.
This includes several officials in President Joe Biden’s administration. And now, one key Republican leader demands an investigation after “multiple reports” of possible violations.
The demand comes after Biden’s team ignored 46 Congressional inquiries in the last year.
It’s the Department of Interior (DOI) that’s on the hot seat in this scenario, as many members have been accused of ethical misconduct. And Rep. Westerman hasn’t managed to get any answers.
The Arkansas representative said he has “significant concerns” regarding the DOI’s Ethics Office, especially after several high-ranking members were accused of potential ethical miscues.
This could be yet another black mark for the embattled Biden administration, which continues to face many challenges in 2022.
And if Rep. Westerman gets his way here, yet another investigation will kick off into one of the President’s biggest departments. That’s bound to make even more waves in Washington, too.
Via Washington Examiner:
A key House Republican is seeking an audit of the Interior Department’s ethics office following multiple reports of ethical misconduct from senior Biden administration officials.
In a letter Monday to the Interior Department’s inspector general, Arkansas Rep. Bruce Westerman said he had ‘significant concerns’ that the Departmental Ethics Office is failing to ensure compliance after two watchdog groups last Tuesday accused Elizabeth Klein, Secretary Deb Haaland’s senior counselor, of working on matters that involve her former employer and clients.
Again, Rep. Westerman reminded the inspector general that the DOI hadn’t responded to any of his 46 previous inquiries. Those requests are now over 228 days overdue.
Westerman now demands an audit of the entire office — he wants to know “how its political appointees are advised on ethics, recusal obligations, screening arrangements, and waivers.”
Added the Republican leader in the letter:
Despite numerous congressional inquiries spanning nearly a year, DOI repeatedly fails to produce adequate responses to concerns about Department employees who face potential conflicts of interest.
DOI’s refusal to cooperate with congressional oversight related to ethics compliance prompts questions about the efficacy and efficiency of the Departmental Ethics Office (DEO).
A pair of watchdog groups, Energy Policy Advocates and Protect the Public’s Trust, filed an official complaint against Klein last week.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg, though, as Rep. Westerman further cited reports that Deputy Solicitor for Water Daniel Cordalis might also be guilty of working on matters that involves his former private-sector client.
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All of this is a breach of ethics, according to many. And the DOI’s lack of response is concerning to Westerman.
In his eyes, it seems like the Department is “hiding information from the public,” which is why he wants an audit immediately. As we can see, transparency is once again a major issue in D.C.
If the audit does happen and investigators do find evidence of ethics violations, it likely won’t reflect well on the current administration.