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Democrats seek criminal charges against Trump Interior head

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AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File
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In this March 10, 2020, file photo Interior Secretary David Bernhardt testifies before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on the FY'21 budget in Washington. Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, asked the Justice Department to investigate whether Bernhardt, a Trump administration Interior secretary, engaged in possible criminal conduct while helping an Arizona developer get a crucial permit for a housing project.

Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee have asked the Justice Department to investigate whether a Trump administration interior secretary engaged in possible criminal conduct while helping an Arizona developer get a crucial permit for a housing project.

David Bernhardt, who led the Interior Department from 2019 to 2021, is accused of wrongdoing as he helped developer Michael Ingram, a Republican donor and supporter of President Donald Trump, get a permit in 2017 for a housing project.

A federal wildlife official said that project would threaten habitat for imperiled species.

Committee lawmakers say Bernhardt pushed for approval of the project, a proposed 28,000-home development in southern Arizona near the endangered San Pedro River.