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.
This excerpt is pulled from Theodoric Meyer’s and Eliana Johnson’s article, “Lobbyist whose wife rented to Pruitt lobbied EPA despite denials,” published by Politico on April 20, 2018. Read the full report here.
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.
An EPA official acknowledged on Saturday that Pruitt had met with Hart, who attended a meeting with a former meat processing executive concerned about President Donald Trump’s proposal to cut spending on a Chesapeake Bay cleanup program. But the official argued that the meeting didn’t meet the definition of lobbying.
The disclosure is the latest sign of one-time allies distancing themselves from Pruitt, whose job is in jeopardy because of multiple investigations into his stewardship of the agency, ranging from spending on a 20-person security team and first-class travel to the installation of costly office furniture and a soundproof phone booth.
The Government Accountability Office said earlier this week that the purchase of the booth, which cost $43,000, violated federal law. And the staff of House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) has interviewed a former EPA political appointee who alleges that Pruitt lied about not knowing about steep raises given to two of his top aides. […]
Hart announced he would resign from Williams & Jensen hours before the firm filed a disclosure showing that he lobbied the EPA in the first quarter of 2017.
Although Hart, the chairman and former chief executive of the firm, has disputed that the contact he had with Pruitt and Pruitt’s chief of staff, Ryan Jackson, constituted lobbying activity, the disclosure indicates otherwise. […]