David Bernhardt—Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Interior Department and succeed Ryan Zinke—kept lobbying for a big client long after he filed official papers saying that he’d stopped, according to an invoice seen by The New York Times. Documents—including one with the not-subtle label “Federal Lobbying”—reportedly show Bernhardt working with the Westlands Water District in California in April 2017, the month Trump nominated him to be deputy interior secretary. That was five months after Bernhardt had filed legal notice with the federal government formally ending his status as a lobbyist. Westlands reportedly paid Bernhardt’s firm $1.3 million for lobbying services between 2011 and 2016, making it one of his biggest clients. Some of the policies pursued by Bernhardt in office, such as the a weakening of Endangered Species Act protections, have reportedly been backed by Westlands. Bernhardt’s spokeswoman said the invoice for his services had been labeled incorrectly and denied that it showed him engaging in lobbying.
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