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Interior Dept. reviewing Zinke ties to Halliburton head

HELENA, Mont. — The U.S. Interior Department’s inspector general is looking into a complaint about a Montana land deal that links Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and the head of energy services giant Halliburton.

Spokeswoman Nancy DiPaolo said Thursday that the Office of Inspector General is conducting a preliminary review that will determine whether a full investigation into the land deal is opened.

Interior spokeswoman Heather Swift says Zinke follows the rules and strives for full transparency, and that she is confident the inspector general’s findings will reflect that.

Democratic lawmakers called for an investigation amid reports that a charitable foundation created by Zinke and run by his wife was allowing a company co-owned by Halliburton chairman David Lesar to use the foundation’s land for a commercial development in Zinke’s hometown of Whitefish, Montana.

Matt Volz, The Associated Press

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