A government watchdog group is calling for an ethics investigation into Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke after an endorsement Zinke made as a congressman two years ago was found on a fundraising firm’s website.
Campaign for Accountability (CfA) filed a request for investigation with the Office of Government Ethics Wednesday, claiming Zinke broke federal ethics regulations by using his office as secretary of the Interior to endorse a private business.
ForthRight Strategy, a fundraising firm hired by Zinke during his 2014 congressional race, featured an endorsement from Zinke on the front page of its website, according to CfA.
“You guys are in large part why I had the money and support that afforded me the opportunity to become a Congressman for the at-large seat in Montana,” Zinke’s statement read. “Your results and personal commitment to Team Zinke were bar none! I greatly value the professional as well as the personal relationship we have developed over many years! Thank you!”
The statement is old, however, predating when Zinke was nominated to serve as secretary of the Interior, Forthright Strategy CEO Kimberly Bellissimo confirmed to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“The Zinke testimonial was placed on our website two years ago. It has since been removed,” Bellissimo said in an email. “We are proud of our service to then Congressman Zinke and are proud of Secretary Zinke’s service to our country.”
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