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Investigations during Ryan Zinke’s time as Secretary of the Department of the Interior have been a major issue in the race for Montana’s new western congressional district.

Zinke has faced accusations of wrongdoing and dishonesty from both Republicans in June’s primary, and now from his Democratic opponent Monica Tranel leading up to November’s general election. They’ve pointed to two reports from internal agency investigators as well as the sheer volume of investigations, numbering from 15-20.

Yet Zinke has insisted the investigations amount to nothing more than political theater. He points out his opponents are free to file complaints that then trigger an investigation, including over frivolous matters, such as his socks, dog and horse. He has been repeatedly cleared once investigations conclude, he says.


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{span}Tom Kuglin is the deputy editor for the Lee Newspapers State Bureau. His coverage focuses on outdoors, recreation and natural resources.{/span}

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