"A government watchdog group asked the Federal Election Commission on Thursday to investigate Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's appearance at Virgin Islands Fundraiser, and it plans to request that Interior's Inspector General probe what it contends is his 'pattern of violations' of ethics regulations.
The complaint letters from the Campaign Legal Center, which cite several POLITICO investigations as evidence, increase the scrutiny the former Montana congressman has faced over his habit of mixing official travel and political events in the Virgin Islands and the mainland. The Interior inspector general's office is already conducting a review of Zinke’s travel and campaign finance practices, which it expects to release by April.
'In his short time in office, Secretary Zinke’s boundary-pushing — and, apparently, boundary-crossing — conduct has set a poor ethical example for the department’s staff,' the Campaign Legal Center wrote in a draft complaint it plans to send to the inspector general Monday. 'He appears to have violated ethics-related laws and regulations on several occasions and wasted taxpayer funds on frivolities. As a cabinet-level official, he owes more to the public he serves.'
The center is a nonpartisan, nonprofit group that monitors lawmakers ethics. Its senior director, Walter Shaub Jr., was director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics before stepping down after Donald Trump became president."