DEMS/ETHICS/INTELLIGENCE/INTERIOR/RYAN ZINKE: “The top Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee said Thursday [7-27-17] he will request a formal investigation into whether Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke threatened projects important to Alaska in retribution for Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s vote against health care legislation.
Zinke called Murkowski and fellow Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan Wednesday afternoon — a day after Murkowski voted against taking up the bill to repeal Obamacare — to warn them that the administration’s support for energy projects in the state are now at risk, Sullivan told the Alaska Dispatch News. The ‘message was pretty clear,’ Sullivan said.
Citing that report, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said Zinke had crossed the line…
Threatening to punish your rivals as political blackmail is something we’d see from the Kremlin. Secretary Zinke’s willingness to deliver these threats speaks volumes about his ethical standards and demonstrates that Interior’s policy positions are up for political grabs, rather than based on science or the public interest.’
Natural Resources Democrats plan to send a letter today calling for an investigation conducted by possibly the Government Accountability Office or inspector general’s office, said committee spokesman Adam Sarvana…
Interior also has the final say over whether to allow a road through Alaska’s Izembek National Wildlife Refuge to take residents of an isolated village reach a nearby hospital, something Murkowski has pushed for years.”

-Ben Lefebvre, “Democrats demand investigation of ‘political blackmail’ against Murkowski,” Politico, July 27, 2017 12:55pm