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 comes hours after Hart’s resignation from the firm.
It’s the latest blow to Pruitt, whose job is already 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 Associated Press reports:
As Oklahoma’s attorney general, Scott Pruitt assigned investigations agents from his office to be his driver and bodyguard, at times taking them on his frequent trips out of state to speak to conservative political organizations, state records show.
The newly obtained documents raise similar questions to those that have triggered investigations into Pruitt’s security and travel since becoming administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Pruitt was Oklahoma’s top prosecutor from 2011 to 2016, at a time in which he was raising his profile nationally as a conservative in favor of rolling back regulation and federal authority.