Two senior House Oversight Democrats are demanding Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) subpoena Scott Pruitt for documents after one of his closest aides told congressional investigators the EPA administrator had her book a personal flight to the Rose Bowl, search for housing for him and try to buy him an “old mattress” from the Trump International Hotel.
Ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) demanded that Gowdy compel Pruitt to turn over all documents related to the potential mattress purchase, efforts to secure personal flights, and work that agency employees performed on non-EPA tasks for Pruitt that have been withheld from an earlier April Democratic request. That followed a May 18 transcribed interview with Millan Hupp, Pruitt’s scheduler.
“If Ms. Hupp’s statements to the Committee are accurate, Administrator Pruitt crossed a very clear line and must be held accountable,” they wrote. “Federal ethics laws prohibit Administrator Pruitt from using his official position for personal gain and from requesting and accepting services from a subordinate employee that are not part of that employee’s official duties.”
A spokeswoman for House Oversight Republicans was not immediately available for comment on the letter.
According to the letter, Hupp told Oversight staff she worked with the managing director of the Trump International Hotel in hopes of securing an old mattress. She said Pruitt had told her someone at the hotel indicated he could purchase the mattress, though she did not know why he wished to do so and did not know if he ultimately bought it.
In addition, Hupp said she sent several emails to real estate agents over a period of several months last summer during work hours to help Pruitt find housing after he verbally asked for her help. She said she visited a “probably more than 10” properties during her lunch hour over the course of several months. Hupp said she didn’t use work email for the searches and was not paid for her efforts.
Pruitt and his wife ultimately settled on an apartment on 13th and U streets, but left it shortly afterwards because “they were not comfortable in the area,” according to Hupp.
Hupp said around Christmas she used a personal credit card from Pruitt in her possession to arrange his personal trip to the Rose Bowl in California. She did not know why Pruitt, who sent her the details for the trip, and couldn’t book the flight on his own.
“He just sent me the flights details and asked me to book for him,” Hupp said.
Hupp indicated she considered Pruitt a personal friend, which was why she did these tasks for him. She said the two had met for dinners that were attended by just the two of them.
“We worked very closely together and spent a lot of time together,” she said. “I traveled with him, so naturally a friendship developed.”