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Press Release

Committee Seeks Additional Information Regarding Secretary Haaland’s Dubious Ethical Behavior

  • OI Subcommittee

Today, House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairman Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) sent a letter to Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and Departmental Ethics Office Director Heather Gottry, probing further into Haaland's alleged conflicts of interest and seeking documentation to conduct necessary oversight. In part, the members wrote:

"The Committee feels there is evidence that Secretary Haaland may not have acted impartially and did not avoid the appearance of a loss of impartiality in the performance of her duties. More alarmingly, there is evidence that Secretary Haaland misused her position for the potential benefit of a nonprofit, the Pueblo Action Alliance (PAA), and used her position—or at the very least permitted the use of her position, title, and authority—to endorse PAA and PAA’s work. 

"PAA is a New Mexico based environmental and social justice organization that frequently engages in advocacy, protests, and lobbying throughout the United States. PAA’s work includes collaborations with (a) the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party, a group fighting for the 'unification of Africa under an All-African Socialist Government,' and (b) the Venceremos Brigade, a group that advocates for policies in 'solidarity with the Cuban Revolution' to fight what it describes as American attempts to 'overthrow' the Cuban revolution that resulted in communist Cuba...

"In addition to its partnerships with international-minded socialist organizations, PAA’s domestic work includes efforts to restrict domestic energy production in America. 

As previously mentioned in the Committee’s June 5th letter, prior to joining the Biden administration as Secretary of the Interior, Secretary Haaland was evidently involved with the beginnings, and potential origin, of PAA. Additionally, there is evidence that, since becoming Secretary of the Interior, Secretary Haaland has maintained her close relationship with PAA...

"While a close relationship between Biden cabinet officials and nonprofits is not unique, Secretary Haaland’s longstanding and ongoing intimacy with PAA is. Thus, the Committee is concerned with Secretary Haaland’s lack of impartiality with matters concerning PAA, as well as the potential for the Secretary to misuse her position for the benefit of PAA. The Committee is also concerned that Secretary Haaland may have conveyed nonpublic information to PAA, whether intentionally or not, given the unrivaled access PAA officials and staff have to Secretary Haaland."

Read the full letter here, and the committee's first letter on this issue here.