House Dems urge EPA IG to probe Pruitt condo arrangement

House Dems urge EPA IG to probe Pruitt condo arrangement

A pair of House Democrats on Monday wrote to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) inspector general to request a probe into Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOvernight Energy: EPA to make formal decision on regulating drinking water contaminant | Utility to close coal plant despite Trump plea | Greens say climate is high on 2020 voters’ minds EPA to announce PFAS chemical regulation plans by end of year Court tosses challenge to EPA's exclusion of certain scientists from advisory boards MORE’s living arrangements after reports he was paying $50 a night to stay in a Washington, D.C., condo owned by the wife of an energy lobbyist.

Reps. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) and Don Beyer (D-Va.) asked for an investigation into the EPA’s justification of the lease, questioning whether the agency’s ethics officer “intentionally wrote a statement that he knew was misleading and whether he was pressured by Administrator Pruitt or anyone else to do so” in defense of the arrangement.

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In addition to paying well below market value at the lobbyist-linked condo, Pruitt's daughter reportedly lived with him in the unit while interning at the White House.

Beyer and Lieu wrote that an "unusual, short-term sweetheart deal" like the one Pruitt received for the property "doesn't even exist on the market for an ordinary citizen."

The New York Times reported on Monday that the EPA approved a project for one of the lobbyist's companies while Pruitt was staying in the District condo.

The EPA's top ethics official has said the lease complied with the agency's ethics requirements.

The EPA administrator is already facing an inspector general investigation into reports earlier this year that he spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on first-class travel while on agency business, as well as criticism for spending more than $40,000 on a soundproof "privacy booth" in his office suite at EPA headquarters.

A White House official said Tuesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump McCabe: Trump said 'I don't care, I believe Putin' when confronted with US intel on North Korea McCabe: Trump talked to me about his election victory during 'bizarre' job interview MORE phoned Pruitt on Monday night to offer his support.

The president reportedly told the EPA chief to “keep your head up, keep fighting” and that “we have your back."