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Agency: No cause to review Trump Jr. hunting adventure

The president's son reportedly bagged a rare sheep in Mongolia and got permits after the fact

Argali sheep walk near a mountain crest in Xinjiang, China. (Costfoto / Barcroft Media / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Argali sheep walk near a mountain crest in Xinjiang, China. (Costfoto / Barcroft Media / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

There is “no basis” to further review allegations Donald Trump Jr. may have illegally hunted an imperiled wild sheep in Mongolia over the summer, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Friday.

The agency had been “in the process of reviewing” concerns raised by an environmental group earlier this week after ProPublica reported Trump Jr. killed a rare argali sheep while visiting Mongolia. 

According to ProPublica, the Mongolian government gave him a permit to hunt the sheep after he left the country, which the news outlet described as “unusual.”  

The report prompted the Center for Biological Diversity, a conservation advocacy group, to send a letter to FWS law enforcement officials asking them to determine whether the president’s eldest son violated U.S. or Mongolian law.

[Agency says it will review Trump Jr.’s sheep hunt in Mongolia]

The group also asked if there were any pending permit applications for importing the sheep Trump allegedly killed because it wasn’t clear what happened to the animal after it died. 

FWS said Friday it is closing the review based on the facts available to the agency at this time. The agency said a public records request would be required in order to learn about individual import permitting decisions. 

“Based on the information we have, there is currently no basis for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to look further into this allegation,” FWS spokeswoman Christina Meister said in a statement. 

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Separately, the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said it requested records Dec. 13 from the Interior Department for all licenses to import argali sheep granted to Trump Jr. or Kevin Small, a Republican donor who was reportedly on the trip. CREW also filed requests for information to the Department of Homeland Security and State Department related to the reported hunt, including communications between U.S. and Mongolian officials and any costs incurred to taxpayers.

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