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Lawmakers Ask for Inquiry Into Zinke Land Deal


Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke arrives for a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the fiscal 2019 budget, May 10, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Democratic lawmakers are calling for an investigation into U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s involvement in a land deal with the chairman of an energy services company that does business with the agency.

A foundation created by Zinke has been dealing with a company co-owned by Halliburton Chairman David Lesar on a commercial development in Whitefish, Montana, Zinke's hometown.

Democrats led by Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona on Thursday asked Interior Department Inspector General Mary Kendall to examine whether Zinke used his office for personal gain.

The lawmakers released emails obtained under a public records request showing Zinke met with Lesar last August, more than five months after he left the foundation involved in the real estate deal.

Representatives of Zinke and Halliburton did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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