Several of the nation’s top legacy media outlets apparently received a letter from Democrats detailing an effort to subpoena Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt for asking an aide to buy him an old mattress.
Politico, The New York Times and The Washington Post all published reports Monday morning explaining a letter Democrats sent Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina about Pruitt’s alleged misuse of agency staff. Politico and the other outlets coincidentally published their pieces highlighting the letter at approximately the same times.
One of his closest aides, Millan Hupp, told congressional investigators Pruitt had her book a flight to the Rose Bowl, and try to purchase him an “old mattress” in September 2017 from the Trump International Hotel. Politico’s report was published at 10:43 a.m., while TheNYT’s piece went live shortly thereafter. WaPo’s piece appeared live at 11:20 a.m.
Hupp, who serves as Pruitt’s scheduling director, told investigators she worked to help find the administrator new housing while he was renting a condominium from a lobbyist. He has been the subject of several media reports suggesting his administration has been stymied by several ethical violations.
The media outlets’ reports were based on a letter from Democratic Reps. Elijah Cummings of Maryland and Gerry Connolly of Virginia, who demanded Gowdy compel Pruitt to turn over documents related to the potential mattress purchase, along with his efforts to secure personal flights. (RELATED: Career Staff, Not Pruitt, Were Behind EPA’s $43K Phone Booth)
Cummings and Connolly asked Gowdy, who chairs the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, to “issue a subpoena to obtain documents that are currently being withheld by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) relating to Administrator Scott Pruitt’s multiple abuses of authority in using agency staff for his own personal purposes.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation reached out to WaPo, Politico and TheNYT to ask if their reports were based on embargoed copies of Cummings and Connolly’s letter, but they have not yet responded. TheDCNF will update this article once new information becomes available. (RELATED: A Senior EPA Official Explains Why Pruitt’s Testimony Probably Saved His Job)
Pruitt has faced far-ranging questions about his alleged ethical shortcomings. Democrats grilled him for allegedly paying $6,100 for a room in a condo owned by Vicki Hart, who is married to J. Steven Hart, an energy lobbyist who represents clients in industries regulated by the EPA. Payments to Hart came only on dates when the EPA administrator stayed in the room.
Lawmakers have also teed off on Pruitt’s flight expenses. Reports from WaPo, Politico and others in February show taxpayers funded at least $90,000 for Pruitt and his top aides to fly in June, which included first-class seats and a ride on a military jet. The EPA maintains the flight upgrades were required due to an uptick in security threats Pruitt faced during his first year in office.
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