Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will be resigning from his position soon, President Donald Trump confirmed in a tweet Saturday morning.
Secretary of the Interior @RyanZinke will be leaving the Administration at the end of the year after having served for a period of almost two years. Ryan has accomplished much during his tenure and I want to thank him for his service to our Nation.......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2018
The administration will announce a new Interior Secretary next week, Trump tweeted.
Zinke’s decision was expected to be announced Wednesday, three people who spoke on the condition of anonymity told Bloomberg News.
The sources said Zinke wanted to avoid grilling from Democrats, who are about to gain control of the House of Representatives, over ethics probes.
Zinke’s alleged misconduct as Interior Secretary -- regarding incidents like threats to Senator Lisa Murkowski and improper use of chartered flights -- prompted 18 government investigations.
In November, Zinke feuded with Representative Raul Grijalva after the Congressman wrote an op-ed in USA Today calling for Zinke’s resignation over a series of “ethical and managerial failings.”
Zinke, a former Navy SEAL and Congressman from Montana, did not want to face the scrutiny or legal costs associated with facing the allegations, Bloomberg News reported.
Possible successors for Zinke include Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, former Wyoming Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis and Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes.
This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.
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