Congress probes approval of Trump backer’s housing project

PHOENIX (AP) — A congressional committee is investigating whether the U.S. Interior Department helped an Arizona developer and supporter of President Donald Trump get a crucial permit.

U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva is leading an investigation into the proposed 28,000-home development. The Arizona Democrat chairs the House Committee on Natural Resources.

The committee set a July 29 deadline for the Interior Department to turn over documents on the project.

A retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official told the Arizona Daily Star that he was pressured in 2017 to facilitate the permit at the environment’s expense.

CNN reported that records show Interior Secretary David Bernhardt had an unofficial meeting when he was deputy secretary with developer Mike Ingram, Arizona Diamondbacks co-owner and a prominent GOP donor.

Interior officials deny politics played a part in the permit.

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