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: Trump administration to repeal waterway protections| House votes to block drilling in Arctic refuge| Administration takes key step to open Alaskan refuge to drilling by end of year Trump administration to repeal waterway protections The Hill's Morning Report - Gillibrand drops out as number of debaters shrinks 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 KrishnamoorthiThe Hill's Morning Report - What is Trump's next move on Iran? House committee launches investigation into Transportation Secretary Chao Hotel industry mounts attack on Airbnb with House bill MORE (D-Ill.) wrote in a letter to committee Chairman Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyRising star Ratcliffe faces battle to become Trump's intel chief Cummings announces expansion of Oversight panel's White House personal email probe, citing stonewalling Pelosi says it's up to GOP to address sexual assault allegation against Trump 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.