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 PruittGovernment watchdog probing EPA’s handling of Hurricane Harvey response Wheeler won’t stop America’s addiction to fossil fuels Overnight Energy: Trump rolls back methane pollution rule | EPA watchdog to step down | China puts tariffs on US gas 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 TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser 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."