Zinke backs investigation into ‘deep state’

Western Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke accused Democrats on Tuesday of weaponizing the federal government to persecute Republicans, using himself as an example and calling for a House investigation.

The twice-elected representative and former Interior secretary spoke as House Republicans voted to create a subcommittee to investigate federal investigators. The “deep state” refers to non-political-appointee federal government workers who aren’t turned out office during transfers of power. The employees are viewed by some politicians as deeply entrenched partisans.  

On party-line vote Republicans created the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government. Members of the eight-Republican, five-Democrat, subcommittee weren’t readily identified, though Republican Jim Jordan, of Ohio, was recognized as chairman.

Jordan in a floor speech framed the subcommittee’s purpose as protecting free speech, while Zinke and Democrats pointed to the investigation of Trump-era conservatives as the intended focus.

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“The right to speak is most important and that’s what they’re going after. And that’s why we’ve had dozens of whistleblowers come talk to us. We want to focus on that because we want it all to stop,” Jordan said into response to Democrats suggesting during the livestreamed session that the

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