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: Controversial Trump adviser reportedly returning to EPA | Delta aims to be first carbon neutral airline | Dem senator gives EPA D-minus on 'forever chemicals' Architect of controversial EPA policies to return as chief of staff: report EPA asked to justify proposal to limit power of its science advisers 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 KrishnamoorthiHillicon Valley: Barr threatens tech's prized legal shield | House panel seeks information from Amazon's Ring | Trump DOJ backs Oracle in Supreme Court fight against Google | TikTok unveils new safety controls House subcommittee requests information from Ring about cooperation with police, local governments Lawmakers with first-hand experience using food stamps call on Trump not to cut program MORE (D-Ill.) wrote in a letter to committee Chairman Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdySunday shows preview: 2020 Democrats jockey for top spot ahead of Nevada caucuses Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for week two of impeachment trial Green says House shouldn't hold impeachment articles indefinitely 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.