July 31, 2019

Wyden Announces Hold on Interior Nominee over Concerns Nominee Lied to Congress about Political Appointees Interfering with Access to Public Records

Wyden also asked the Department of Justice to open an investigation into whether nominee perjured himself before Congress

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today announced he has placed a hold on the nomination of Daniel Jorjani to serve as Solicitor General for the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI). The decision follows recently released documents revealing that, during Jorjani’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, he appears to have knowingly given false testimony about the Department’s “supplemental” Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) review policy -- a policy that, according to press reports, the Department’s internal watchdog is now investigating.

“Attempts by political appointees at the Interior Department to delay, stonewall and otherwise inhibit public and Congressional oversight are totally unacceptable,” Wyden said. “I cannot allow Mr. Jorjani’s nomination to proceed. I will object to any unanimous consent agreement to consider his nomination.” 

Wyden, a senior member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, sent a letter to U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Acting Chief of Public Integrity Section AnnaLou Tirol, requesting that the Department initiate an investigation into whether Jorjani knowingly made misleading statements to Congress on these issues. Wyden also sent a letter to the DOI Acting Inspector General (IG) requesting that the IG expand the scope of the office’s investigation to include the role Jorjani played in establishing DOI’s “supplemental” FOIA review policy or any awareness he may have had of the policy’s existence before his confirmation hearing on May 2, 2019.

Click here to read Wyden’s letter to the Department of Justice.

Click here to read Wyden’s letter to the DOI IG.