Glenn Youngkin nominee dogged by his failure to resign from the Trump administration after Jan. 6 insurrection
Official White House photo by Tia Dufour.

Failure to resign from the Trump administration following the Jan. 6 insurrection is dogging a former cabinet-level official seeking a new job.

"Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin (R) on Wednesday nominated Andrew Wheeler — a former coal lobbyist who led a rollback of Obama-era environmental regulations as President Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency chief — as his secretary of natural resources," The Washington Post reported on Jan. 5. "The pick drew immediate blowback from environmentalists and elected Democrats from Richmond to Washington, who warned that Wheeler might not survive confirmation in the state Senate, which remains under narrow Democratic control."

The following day, The New York Times reported, "Democratic leaders said they would try to block Mr. Wheeler from taking charge of conservation programs, environmental cleanups and climate change initiatives like the ones he opposed as E.P.A. administrator. Resistance to Mr. Wheeler began building just moments after his nomination to be natural resources secretary was announced on Wednesday by Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin, a Republican who will be sworn in on Jan. 15."

The day before Youngkin was sworn-in, the Associated Press reported, "more than 150 former Environmental Protection Agency employees urged the Virginia Senate on Friday to oppose the nomination of former EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler to GOP Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin’s Cabinet."

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On Friday, a prominent left-of-center ethics watchdog drew attention to the fact Wheeler did not resign from the administration.

"Andrew Wheeler’s tenure as EPA Administrator during the Trump administration was rife with ethics issues," Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) wrote. "Wheeler’s failure to resign following the insurrection and a trip he took to Costa Rica on the taxpayer’s dime in his final days in office raise questions about his commitment to democracy and use of public resources for his own benefit."

The group is seeking to learn more via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

"CREW has requested records of Wheeler’s communications on January 6th and 7th, which could illuminate what actions, if any, that Wheeler took to protect the EPA and its employees from insurrectionists on January 6th, as well as records regarding the insurrection through the end of the Trump administration," the group wrote. "While Wheeler did reportedly send an email to EPA staffers the day after the insurrection expressing his 'disgust' about the prior day’s events, he did not resign in protest as other senior Trump Administration officials did, or even publicly condemn President Trump’s incitement of the riot."

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