Dem calls for hearings on allegations Pruitt retaliated against staffers

Dem calls for hearings on allegations Pruitt retaliated against staffers
© Greg Nash

A Democratic member of the House Oversight Committee is calling for hearings on allegations that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 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 used official resources to retaliate against former staffers.

"Amid the ongoing backlash against Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s many alleged ethics violations, reports have surfaced of additional professional misconduct," Rep. Raja KrishnamoorthiSubramanian (Raja) Raja KrishnamoorthiIt’s time to shut down all future government shutdowns Democrats are zeroing in on Treasury’s Mnuchin House Democrats clash with Mnuchin following sanctions briefing MORE (D-Ill.) wrote in a letter to committee Chairman Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyTrey Gowdy joins Fox News as a contributor Congress must take the next steps on federal criminal justice reforms Lynch testimony marks final interview of GOP-led probe MORE (R-S.C.).

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"I urge you to convene hearings to reveal the full extent of this Administration’s use of official resources and executive power to defame and retaliate against whistleblowers and others who reveal ongoing ethics violations in the Trump Administration."

Krishnamoorthi's letter follows a story Thursday from the Daily Beast that reported claims that Pruitt sought to use his authority to defame EPA staffers he believed had betrayed him.

Among the allegations reported by the Daily Beast were that Pruitt instructed aides to pitch damaging news stories to media outlets about former staffers who left the agency on bad terms and had EPA employees leak damaging information about alleged misconduct by a former deputy chief of staff.

The report also contains allegations that Pruitt told conservative allies that his former director of scheduling, Millan Hupp, had lied when she told a congressional committee that the EPA chief had asked her to get him a used mattress from the Trump International Hotel.

The Hill has reached out to an EPA spokesman for comment.

Pruitt has come under fire in recent months for a number of ethics controversies, including his use of first- and business-class flights and for renting a room in a Capitol Hill condo owned by the wife of an energy lobbyist.