Democrats want details of Pruitt’s DC condo tied to lobbyist 'power couple'

Democrats in Congress are demanding details.

U.S. Rep. Don Beyer, a Virginia Democrat called on Pruitt to “immediately make clear the terms of his housing agreement” and “publish all correspondence” with the veteran lobbyist whose wife co-owns townhouse.

ABC News reported Thursday that Pruitt lived in a townhouse that is near from the U.S. Capitol complex for much of his first year in Washington, property records from 2017 show.

The lobbyist J. Steven Hart, would not disclose how much Pruitt paid to live there and the EPA did not respond to requests for comment. Hart's wife, Vicki, co-owns the property. Reached late Thursday, she declined to comment.

A source familiar with the arrangement said Pruitt rented a single bedroom in an upstairs condo unit while he searched for a permanent residence. He rented the unit from early 2017 until August. No one else occupied the unit’s other bedrooms, the source said.

Pruitt traveled to Morocco last December and the EPA said in a press release that liquid natural gas exports a topic of discussion during that trip.

Cheniere Energy spokeswoman Rachel Carmichel told ABC News the company ended its relationship with Hart’s firm in December 2017. The spokeswoman went on to say Cheniere was and said the company was unaware of the relationship and had not used Hart’s firm to have conversations with the EPA.

The EPA did not respond to ABC News' questions about whether Hart's lobbying firm had any involvement in arranging meetings during Pruitt's trip to Morocco.

But Democrats on the key congressional committees that oversee the EPA expressed outrage over the undisclosed arrangement.

Democrats from the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over EPA, tweeted about the ABC News report and some Democratic members tweeted about the housing arrangement using the hashtag #BootPruitt, which is part of a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/environmental-groups-launch-ads-fox-friends-boot-pruitt/story?id=54071248" target="_blank">coordinated campaign against the administrator launched by several environmental groups this week.

That effort includes groups like the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, and League of Conservation Voters, who argue that Pruitt's decisions benefit the oil and gas industries.

"The Administrator of the EPA should stand up to corporate polluters, not live in their homes while pushing their agenda at every turn," Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said in a statement.

The head of the nonprofit watchdog group the Environmental Integrity Project and former EPA Director of Civil Enforcement Eric Shaffer called on the EPA's inspector general and Congress to look into the issue.

“Does this explain why Pruitt flew to Morocco to pitch natural gas exports, which isn’t really an EPA concern?” Schaeffer wrote in a statement.

The EPA inspector general's office is aware of the report, according to spokesman Jeff Lagda.

The agency's inspector general is already looking into the cost of Pruitt's travel and whether the agency followed all proper procedures.

The EPA previously confirmed that Pruitt often flies first or business class, citing security reasons, but he later told CBS News that he has asked his staff to revisit that policy. That report is expected to be made public later this year, as well as an audit into the cost of Pruitt's personal security detail.

ABC News' Katherine Faulders and Ali Dukakis contributed to this report.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Top Stories

Top Stories

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events