In other news, the Second District Court of Appeals in New York has blocked the Trump regime from delaying penalties for automakers that don't meet fuel efficiency standards. The injunction was sought by a group of states led by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Meanwhile, documents show that Steven Hart, the lobbyist and husband of Vicki Hart (also a lobbyist) who co-owns the lobbyist condo EPA administrator Scott Pruitt lived in, did in fact meet with and lobby Pruitt during their arrangement.
Finally, documents show that career officials at the Interior Department all but approved a pair of American Indian casino projects in Connecticut last year before Zinke intervened, possibly on behalf of rival casino company MGM.
Interior’s inspector general is investigating the department’s handling of the tribes’ casino application, a spokeswoman told POLITICO, after Connecticut lawmakers asked the internal watchdog to look into the matter.
The documents, released under the Freedom of Information Act, don’t reveal the contents of the internal deliberations by the staff of the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Office of Indian Gaming. But they show that the career staffers were circulating what they labeled “approval” letters just 48 hours before their political bosses reversed course and refused to either OK or reject the tribes’ application — a nondecision that left the Indians’ East Windsor project in legal limbo.
Two tribes are currently suing the Interior Department because Zinke neither approved or rejected their projects as required by federal law.