Trump Administration Nominates Idaho Business Lawyer To Interior Department

Aug 2, 2017

The Trump Administration has nominated an Idaho attorney to lead the Interior Department’s legal team. Ryan Nelson has been the General Counsel at the Melaleuca Corporation for almost eight years.

The Idaho Falls-based nutritional supplements company is owned by billionaire and Republican donor Frank VanderSloot. In a statement, the CEO said “Ryan is a true patriot and I fully support his personal sacrifice in serving this country that he loves so much.”

VanderSloot’s approval comes a few years after Nelson argued on his company’s behalf during a libel lawsuit against Mother Jones. The suit stemmed from an article by the liberal magazine outlining a donation to 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The suit was eventually dismissed.

Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo also endorsed Nelson’s nomination, along with Representative Mike Simpson. That support will come in handy; his position in the Interior Department will need Congressional approval.

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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