A House committee is targeting the outdoor retailer, a move that’s raised ethical and legal questions.
The House Committee on Natural Resources has joined Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s fight against Patagonia, accusing the American outdoor retailer of lying in order to sell merchandise.
On Friday, the committee — which is chaired by Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) — posted an image to Twitter that reads, “Patagonia Is Lying To You … A corporate giant hijacking our public lands debate to sell more products to wealthy elitist urban dwellers from New York to San Francisco.”
That the post comes from an official government account has raised both ethical and legal questions.
Walter Shaub, the former director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, said the federal government “officially and publicly calling a company a liar for political reasons is a bizarre and dangerous departure from civic norms.”
Shaub also wrote that the “attack” on Patagonia “sure looks a lot like a violation” of House committee rules dealing with social media communication.