Environment & Energy Report

Lawyer With Koch Ties Nominated as Interior’s Solicitor

Feb. 26, 2019, 11:25 PM

President Donald Trump on Feb. 26 said he will nominate as Interior Department solicitor Daniel Jorjani, who has been principal deputy solicitor since May 2017.

Before joining Interior, Jorjani worked as general counsel for Freedom Partners, a nonprofit funded by brothers David and Charles Koch, and headed up the research group at the Charles Koch Institute, according to government watchdog group Public Citizen and the Western Values Project’s Department of Influence, which tracks ties between interest groups and the Interior Department.

Jorjani previously worked for eight years at the Interior Department as chief of staff and in other positions for Lynn Scarlett, who was an assistant secretary for policy management and later deputy secretary and chief operating officer during the Bush administration.

“He does know the department well,” Scarlett told Bloomberg Environment in December 2016 after Jorjani was named to Interior’s transition team. “He knows the bureaus and he knows the issues.”

“I would say he’s ideologically conservative, as one might expect in the new administration, but very supportive of conservation,” particularly in the form of collaboration with land owners and communities in areas where the Interior manages lands, Scarlett said.

The solicitor’s office performs Interior’s legal work, manages the department’s ethics office and resolves Freedom of Information Act appeals.

Trump in August 2017 nominated Idaho attorney Ryan Nelson as solicitor, but Nelson withdrew when Trump nominated him in May 2018 to instead fill a vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rebecca Kern in Washington at rkern@bloombergenvironment.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Gregory Henderson at ghenderson@bloombergenvironment.com; Chuck McCutcheon at cmccutcheon@bloombergenvironment.com; Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloombergenvironment.com

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