Politco: Watchdog group requests Hatch Act probe of Zinke's appearance at Virgin Islands


A watchdog group is asking the Justice Department’s Office of Special Council to open a Hatch Act investigation into Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke after POLITICO reported he had appeared at a political fundraiser in the U.S. Virgin Islands while on an official trip less than a month after being confirmed.


The nonprofit Campaign Legal Center says that activity may have run afoul of the federal law prohibiting federal officials from using government resources to engage in partisan political activity.

“This activity constitutes impermissible solicitation of political contributions if event organizers conditioned the opportunity to take a photograph with Secretary Zinke on paying a higher fee,” writes Walter Shaub, the Campaign Legal Center’s senior director for ethics, in a request to the OSC, citing POLITICO’s story.

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