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Originally published at Crooks&Liars
by Nicole Bell
It’s not bad enough that Scott Pruitt got a one-in-a-million deal for his DC residence, renting out a room for the bargain price of $50/night only on the nights he was there. It’s not bad enough that even at those rates, Pruitt was a lousy tenant in arrears and had to be kicked out and the locks changed. It’s not bad enough that the apartment belonged to a lobbyist who would conceivably be lobbying Pruitt, setting up a clear ethical conflict of interest.
No, Scott Pruitt had to make it even worse. Despite assuring everyone that there would be no direct influence by the lobbyist allowed, it turns out that Pruitt is about as honest as his boss.
The prominent lobbyist whose wife rented a condominium to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt lobbied the agency while Pruitt was leading it, contrary to his and Pruitt’s public denials that he had any business before the agency, according to a Friday filing by his firm.
The disclosure from the lobbying firm Williams & Jensen contradicts Pruitt’s public statement last month that the lobbyist, J. Steven Hart, had no clients with business before the EPA, and came hours after Hart’s resignation from the firm.
Where we can’t expect the Republican majority to do anything that resembles checks and balances…or ethics… or legality, the Democratic members of the Ethics Committee aren’t holding back.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said in a statement Saturday that any evidence of deception about Pruitt’s relationship with the lobbyist-turned-landlord would bode ill for the EPA administrator.
“It doesn’t get much swampier than an agency head getting a sweetheart deal on rent from a lobbyist with business before his agency, but someone lying about it afterwards does make it worse,” Whitehouse said. “The laundry list of Pruitt scandals grows.”
It is not immediately clear if Trump interrupted his rage tweeting this weekend to be informed of Pruitt’s growing list of megalomaniacal ethics violations.
The title, however, is homemade.