DIRTY TRICKS

Congressman Calls for Hearings on Scott Pruitt ‘Ratf*cking’ Allegations

A member of the House Oversight Committee has called for hearings into Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt’s alleged retaliation against current and former staffers, as detailed in a Thursday report from The Daily Beast. “I urge you to convene hearings to reveal the full extent of this Administration's use of official resources and executive power to defame and retaliate against whistleblowers and others who reveal ongoing ethics violations in the Trump Administration,” wrote Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) in a Friday letter to Oversight Committee chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-OK). Krishnamoorthi cited a Daily Beast report detailing efforts by Pruitt to undercut current and former staffers who have, publicly or in statements to congressional investigators, recalled alleged ethical and spending breaches by the administrator. One source who spoke with The Daily Beast described the efforts as “ratfucking,” a term popularized in the Nixon era to describe dirty tricks designed to undermine political opponents. Pruitt personally pitched “oppo” research on a number of former EPA aides, and actively undercut another in conversations with conservative groups after she told a congressional committee, as she was legally obligated to, about efforts to procure a Trump Hotel mattress for Pruitt.