Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt rented a bedroom in a Capitol Hill townhouse used for multiple GOP fundraising events while he stayed there.
Pruitt rented the bedroom from the spouse of a powerful Washington, D.C., lobbyist for the first six months of his tenure in President Donald Trump’s cabinet. Though an EPA ethics officer cleared the deal, the White House is reviewing Pruitt to “dig a little deeper,” a White House official told The Wall Street Journal.
The EPA maintains Pruitt did not attend any events held in the townhouse. The fact they happened at all, however, is disturbing, an official at a nonprofit ethics group told The Daily Beast.
“Nothing says ‘the swamp’ like corporate lobbyists holding high-dollar fundraisers in a luxury Capitol Hill condo,” Campaign Legal Center Federal Reform Programs Director Brendan Fischer said. “The fact that fundraisers were a common occurrence is a reminder that Pruitt was getting a sweet deal on a luxury condo from a couple whose job is influence-peddling.”
The apartment was popular for holding political events because the location close to Capitol Hill was convenient, and the townhouse was cheaper to rent than a similarly located restaurant, an administration source told CBS News.
Several GOP lawmakers held regular events in the building, and others held one-offs. While Pruitt was in Washington, D.C., for several events, according to a cross reference of event invitations and Pruitt’s schedule, the events occurred in the middle of the day. The logistics would have proved difficult for Pruitt to attend said events, though federal officials are allowed to attend political events in their off-time, The Daily Beast noted.
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