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Rick Saccone

Watchdog clears Interior chief Zinke in speech to NHL team

An independent watchdog has cleared Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke of wrongdoing when he gave a speech to a National Hockey League team owned by a campaign contributor.

The Office of Special Counsel said Zinke's June 2017 speech to the Vegas Golden Knights did not violate the Hatch Act, a federal law that prohibits executive branch officials from engaging in political activities. The team's owner, Bill Foley, contributed to Zinke's Republican congressional campaigns and to President Donald Trump's inauguration.

The special counsel also cleared Zinke in two other related complaints in which he was accused of mixing political and official business. The office investigates...

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