Official documents released by the Department of the Interior reveal that acting Secretary David Bernhardt met with the American Petroleum Institute (API) in Denver, Colorado, on July 26, 2018. Bernhardt was the Deputy Secretary of the Interior at the time.
According to travel forms that track travel expenses paid by non-Federal entities, API bought Bernhardt a $45.00 lunch on July 26, 2018 in Denver.
This is at least the second undisclosed meeting between API and Bernhardt. In the first instance, revealed by Documented, Bernhardt signed API CEO Jack Gerard in to DOI headquarters, though his calendar did not mention a meeting with the oil lobby group.
Gaps in Bernhardt’s calendar are currently the subject of investigation by the House Committee on Natural Resources. In February, Committee Chairman Raúl Grijalva sent an official request for “all calendars and schedules maintained by or on behalf of David Bernhardt,” citing concerns that his public schedules were altered or left incomplete.
Though the paperwork has not yet been filed by the White House, President Trump is expected to nominate Bernhardt for Secretary of the Department of the Interior. Once officially nominated, he will face confirmation by the Senate.