Another Trump cabinet pick gets caught in corruption scandal
There's another scandal brewing in Trump's corrupt Cabinet.
David Bernhardt, the acting interior secretary who Trump officially nominated to lead the department, was still lobbying for the very industry he is tasked with regulating months after he officially said he stopped those lobbying efforts, the New York Times reported.
This is the same Bernhardt whose conflicts of interest already raised serious concerns about his ability to be a neutral arbiter on issues related to public lands. In fact, he has so many conflicts of interest that, "he has to carry a small card listing them all," according to a Washington Post report.
And a New York Times investigation already showed that Bernhardt has promoted policies that his past lobbying clients had long pushed for.
Bernhardt is such a creature of the swamp that someone who attended his confirmation hearing earlier this week on Capitol Hill wore a swamp creature mask.
Bernhardt has yet to receive a confirmation vote in the Senate. However with Republicans controlling the chamber, and with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's decision to change the rules and allow nominees to advance with just a simple majority of votes, Bernhardt is likely to be confirmed — becoming the latest scandal-plagued member of Trump's Cabinet.
Let's take a trip down memory lane about the corrupt Trump Cabinet.
Who could forget Tom Price, who was forced to resign his role as secretary of health and human services after an investigation found he spent $1 million in taxpayer money on private jets.
There was also former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt, whose many scandals also forced him to resign. His scandals included using taxpayer funds for first-class air travel, an unethical living arrangement in Washington, D.C., and exorbitant security costs he billed to taxpayers, among other things.
Then there was Ryan Zinke, the former Interior secretary whom Bernhardt is now hoping to replace, who also used taxpayer funds on private jets and is under investigation for illegal campaign finance activity.
Next up is Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who used a taxpayer-funded military plane to catch a prime viewing of the solar eclipse with his wife, who has also come under fire for her lavish lifestyle and disdain for the working class.
And there's Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, who is now under fire for his role in letting a billionaire pedophile get off with a lenient plea deal when Acosta served as U.S. attorney in southern Florida. A federal judge ruled in Feburary that Acosta's role in the plea deal broke the law.
Who could forget Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, whom watchdog groups have called to be investigated for conflicts of interest?
Lastly, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, who came under fire for spending $31,000 on a new dining set for his office.
Trump came to Washington promising to "drain the swamp." Instead, he's filled it with the swampiest of swamp creatures.
Published with permission of The American Independent. Attribution: Emily Singer.