SPONSORED:

Pruitt confirms he has a legal defense fund

Pruitt confirms he has a legal defense fund
© Greg Nash

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOVERNIGHT ENERGY: EPA eases permitting for modifications to polluting facilities | Rocky Mountain National Park closed due to expanding Colorado wildfire | Trump order strips workplace protections from civil servants EPA eases permitting for modifications to polluting facilities Overnight Energy: Barrett punts on climate, oil industry recusals | Ex-EPA official claims retaliation in lawsuit | Dems seek to uphold ruling ousting Pendley MORE said Wednesday that an external fund has been established to help him with legal costs.

Pruitt confirmed the reporting of The New York Times in a back-and-forth with Sen. Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenDemocratic senators unveil bill to ban discrimination in financial services industry Senate Democrats call for ramped up Capitol coronavirus testing Democratic senators offer bill to make payroll tax deferral optional for federal workers MORE (D-Md.) during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing.

“It’s been set up,” he said in response to Van Hollen’s questions.

ADVERTISEMENT

The fund will let friends, allies, lobbyists and others donate to help defray any legal costs Pruitt might incur amid the numerous ethics and spending scandals currently surrounding him, and the dozen or so federal investigations into them.

But lobbyists and corporations with business before the EPA will not be allowed to donate, Pruitt told Van Hollen.

Pruitt indicated that he is not directly involved in the operations of the fund.

“I don’t accept donations. I don’t solicit donations. That’s done by attorneys and others,” he said.

Pruitt said his attorney has been communicating with the Government Accountability Office and the White House’s Office of Government Ethics (OGE) to establish the fund and follow relevant laws.

Pruitt said the fund would follow the OGE’s recommendations that it not accept any anonymous donations, and that all donations be made public.

Pruitt has been under scrutiny for everything from his first-class travel expenses to large raises given to some of his top aides.