Trump taps Commerce watchdog to be new Interior inspector general

President TrumpDonald John TrumpAnalyst says Trump’s base will support him if he backs off wall funding demand ‘Green Book’ writer apologizes for Islamophobic tweet: ‘I will do better’ Poll finds Trump’s approval rating at 44 percent amid shutdown MORE has tapped Commerce Department inspector Mark Greenblatt to be the brand new inspector common of the Department of the Interior.

Greenblatt, who’s presently the assistant inspector common for investigations at Commerce, will change Mary Kendall, who has served as Interior’s appearing inspector common since 2009.

The longtime inspector and former New York litigator would enter a place within the Trump administration that was marred in controversy final 12 months.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonDOJ probing whether Zinke lied to Interior investigators: report Ex-Trump family aide pushed for White House liaison’s firing: report Trump’s shifting Cabinet to introduce new faces MORE mistakenly introduced in October that Suzanne Tufts, a senior HUD official, would assume the highest Interior oversight function.

Democrats and watchdog advocates raised objections that Tufts, a political appointee who labored for Trump’s electoral marketing campaign, could be conflicted as a watchdog.

An Interior spokesperson mentioned on the time that Tufts was referred to the company by the White House as a possible candidate for a place within the IG workplace however that “on the finish of the day, she was not provided a job at Interior.”

The confusion got here as then-Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeGrijalva backs Bishop over current acting Interior Secretary Dems question legality of park fees during shutdown House panel to ‘demand answers’ on Interior’s move to use visitor fees to keep parks open MORE confronted a string of probes from Interior’s inspector common, together with involving his spouse’s journey and studies he negotiated a enterprise deal involving the previous chairman of oil service firm Halliburton Co.

Shortly after the controversy, Tufts resigned from her place in HUD.

Greenblatt, who will nonetheless should be confirmed by the Senate, would grow to be the highest watchdog overseeing the Department of Interior.

His nomination additionally comes as Trump has but to choose a substitute for Zinke, his first Interior secretary who resigned in December. 

The White House mentioned Friday that Greenblatt has greater than 15 years of oversight expertise on the Commerce Department IG workplace and with the Justice Department’s prime watchdog.

He beforehand clerked for U.S. District Judge Anita Brody and labored as chief counsel for the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. 

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