State Politics

Idaho senators used Scott Pruitt’s controversial condo for fundraisers

The Capitol Hill condo where Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has stayed in Washington, D.C.
The Capitol Hill condo where Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has stayed in Washington, D.C. AP

Idaho GOP Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch are no strangers to the Washington, D.C., townhouse that the head of the Environmental Protection Agency occasionally calls home.

While EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt was staying in the house, Crapo’s and Risch’s political action committees — Freedom Fund and Save America PAC, respectively — held fundraisers there, according to The Daily Beast.

“Republican lawmakers raised money downstairs, while the EPA administrator lived upstairs in his rented lobbyist-owned townhouse,” the website reported on Monday, citing its review of fundraising invitations.

Crapo’s office confirmed the report.

“Yes, the Senator, like other members of Congress, often uses this location for fundraising events because it is located close to his Senate office building,” spokesperson Robert Sumner told the Idaho Statesman.

Pruitt paid $50 a night to stay at the Capitol Hill townhouse. It is owned by Vicki Hart and her husband J. Steven Hart, a D.C. lobbyist who represents major energy companies, according to Bloomberg.

Pruitt has already come under scrutiny recently for his expensive taxpayer-funded travel, including first-class airline tickets.

According to an Associated Press report on Monday, an EPA ethics official said the fact that Pruitt’s below-market-value condo lease was tied to an energy lobbyist didn’t violate federal ethics rules.

The Statesman has reached out to Risch’s office for comment.

Cynthia Sewell: 208-377-6428, @CynthiaSewell

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