Jack Abramoff

Trump Interior Department nominee tells Senate panel he can avoid potential conflicts of interest

Trump Interior Department nominee tells Senate panel he can avoid potential conflicts of interest

President Trump’s nominee for the No. 2 position in the U.S. Department of the Interior found himself caught in a partisan, California-focused crossfire at his Senate confirmation committee hearing Thursday.

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, praised David Bernhardt as an “excellent choice” for the deputy secretary position, while the committee’s top Democrat, Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington, grilled the lawyer and lobbyist on the potential for conflicts of interest in light of his firm’s extensive client list.

In particular, Cantwell pressed Bernhardt about his involvement with the Central Valley’s...

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