August 15, 2022

ETHICS ISSUE: Sarah Palin reveals investment in company tied to bribes of Trump admin officials

ETHICS ISSUE: Sarah Palin reveals investment in company tied to bribes of Trump admin officials

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Former Alaska Governor and current candidate for the House of Representatives Sarah Palin has significant ties to a builder who allegedly bribed Donald Trump, her latest financial disclosures reveal. Palin was transparent in her House filing disclosures – required in Palin’s bid for the Alaska Congressional seat vacant after former Representative Don Young’s death —  which show that she has at least a $500,000 stake in El Dorado Holdings, an Arizona developer

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El Dorado was scrutinized in 2019 after Steven Spangle, a Phoenix-based U.S. Fish and Wildlife official said that a “high-level politico” at Trump’s Interior Department used his position to apply pressure to change permits in Arizona.

Spangle said the Trump administration pressured him to change his decision on a 28K home development in Benson, AZ.

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According to Spangle: “I got rolled.”

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“I made a decision that was in my purview to make. I was overruled by somebody who didn’t have my kind of experience. I used that phrase to distinguish it from making a policy call based on fact, as opposed to making a policy call based on politics. I had a strong feeling this was a political decision on their part,” he told The Arizona Daily Star.

A criminal referral from the House Committee on Natural Resources was sent to Merrick Garland and the Department of Justice in May of this year. One of the accusations included in the referral was criminal bribery.

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“The committee’s investigation uncovered covert correspondence carried out over non-government channels between El Dorado executives and top staffers at the Department of the Interior in 2017. These communications culminated in an undisclosed meeting in Billings, Montana, between El Dorado founder Mike Ingram and then-Interior Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt, who would later assume the agency’s top job,” the criminal referral said.

Palin reportedly met the founder of El Dorado Holdings – Mike Ingram – during her failed Vice Presidential run. Ingram is known to have made sizable donations to the Trump campaign.

Palin’s stake in El Dorado Holdings should raise significant questions about what she knew about the political scheme to pressure Spangle to reverse his decision to benefit the company  — questions that Alaskans deserve answers to before they go to the polls to elect their next congressperson.

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Ty Ross

News journalist for Washington Press and Occupy Democrats.

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