Documents: How Pruitt launched his legal defense fund

E&E News

Scott Pruitt's attorney was working last year to set up a fund to pay the then-EPA administrator's legal expenses, months before ethics allegations exploded into a national scandal.

Cleta Mitchell, a partner at Foley & Lardner LLP and the trustee of Pruitt's legal defense fund, sent an email last November to the Office of Government Ethics, saying she had been retained to set up the legal defense fund, according to documents obtained by the Campaign Legal Center and shared with E&E News.

The records reveal that Pruitt's attorney was working behind the scenes to set up a legal defense fund long before its existence was made public. Pruitt confirmed that the fund was in operation in May during questioning from Senate Democrats (Greenwire, May 16). The documents also indicate that Pruitt was subject to a bar complaint in Oklahoma for having sued EPA before leading it, a complaint that has not been previously reported.

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