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Dem lawmakers seek criminal corruption probe of EPA's Pruitt

13 June 2018

Writing to FBI Director Christopher A. Wray and acting assistant attorney general John Cronan, the lawmakers said Pruitt had used his office for "the personal gain of himself and his family, in violation of federal law".

The letter cites reports that Pruitt attempted to secure a Chick-fil-A franchise for his wife, and paid $50 a night to rent a condo from the wife of a lobbyist who lobbied the EPA.

"Outside he's being attacked viciously by the press and I'm not saying he's blameless, but we'll see what happens", Trump said.

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Pruitt acknowledged last month that friends and supporters had established a legal defense fund, which Democrats and ethics watchdogs quickly derided as a potential "tip jar" for polluters seeking favorable treatment from his agency.

The Democrats say Pruitt might have committed crimes.

Pruitt also, as The Washington Post first reported, approached Matthew Swift, the chief executive of Concordia, a NY nonprofit, using EPA resources, and got his wife a $2,000 gig to help with logistics for the group's annual conference, where Pruitt was a speaker, Beyer wrote. But if the Justice Department acts on Friday's request from House Democrats, it would be the first criminal probe into Pruitt's ethical conduct.

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In addition, Beyer is asking the Federal Bureau of Investigation to look at the condo deal Pruitt made with a lobbyist's wife, securing a $50-per-night below-market-rate room for himself while in Washington.

Asked about the report, Pruitt did not directly comment on whether he sought a franchise for his wife, according to an excerpt of an interview with Nexstar Media Group posted on Twitter on Wednesday.

Pruitt spoke at the Faith and Freedom Conference today, touting the accomplishments of the Trump administration in the past year and a half, when a protester interrupted and held up a bottle of lotion. "Administrator Pruitt has certainly done just that".

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"H$3 is actions related to his wife's employment and the quid-pro-quo condo situation with industry lobbyists may have crossed a line into criminal conduct punishable by fines or even by time in prison", the lawmakers wrote in the letter.

Dem lawmakers seek criminal corruption probe of EPA's Pruitt