IG Exonerates Bernhardt

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No Misuse of Funds or Ethics Violations by an FWS Official

The OIG investigated allegations that a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) official awarded or manipulated a grant to a friend in return for a favor. It was further alleged that the official benefited from a different grant that the FWS awarded to a State agency and that he may have used inside knowledge to purchase and enroll land in a Government program so he could benefit financially.

We found no evidence that the FWS official awarded or manipulated any grants that benefited himself or others. We also found no evidence that the FWS official violated any laws or rules by purchasing land and enrolling the land into a Government program.


Today, Members of the Western Caucus released statements affirming support for Secretary Bernhardt following the release of exonerating report:

Congressman Paul Gosar (AZ)
Congressman Paul Gosar (AZ)

“Today we are reminded that contrary to the fantasies of impropriety dreamed up in the heads of Senators, Secretary David Bernhardt is one of the most dedicated, ethical and effective public servants to serve our nation. It is that effectiveness that gives Senators nightmares and results in them concocting schemes to degrade and insult the hardworking people of this Administration. Today’s IG report reiterates that America is well served by Secretary Bernhardt and the people of the Department of the Interior, working each and every day for the American people on behalf of President Donald Trump,” said Chairman Paul Gosar (AZ-04).

“Contrary to false allegations lodged at David Bernhardt during his Senate confirmation process, the Inspector General has confirmed Secretary Bernhardt never interfered with scientific findings. Once again, facts have revealed hyper partisanship that has blinded Democrats from focusing on real issues rather than attempting to besmirch dedicated public servants in this Administration. Bernhardt’s years of legal experience and leadership roles within the Department are an asset, and he continues to adhere to strong ethical standards,” said Chairman Emeritus Rob Bishop (UT-01)

Chief Regulatory Reform Officer Andy Biggs (AZ-05)
Chief Infrastructure and Forestry Officer Bruce Westerman (AR-04)
Congressman Pete Stauber (MN-08)
Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-42)
Congressman Doug Lamborn (CO-05)
Congressman Russ Fulcher (ID-01)

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Congressman Paul Gosar (R) Arizona and Chairman of the Western Caucus

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