EPA Contractor Spent Past Year Scouring Agency for Anti-Trump Officials

"One of the top executives of a consulting firm that the Environmental Protection Agency has recently hired to help it with media affairs has spent the past year investigating agency employees who have been critical of the Trump administration, federal records show.

The firm, Definers Public Affairs, based in Virginia, specializes in conducting opposition research, meaning that it seeks to find damaging information on political or corporate rivals.

A vice president for the firm, Allan Blutstein, federal records show, has submitted at least 40 Freedom of Information Act requests to the E.P.A. since President Trump was sworn in. Many of those requests target employees known to be questioning management at the E.P.A. since Scott Pruitt, the agency’s administrator, was confirmed."

Eric Lipton and Lisa Friedman report for the New York Times December 15, 2017.


"E.P.A. Employees Spoke Out. Then Came Scrutiny of Their Email." (New York Times)

"The EPA Hired a Major Republican Opposition Research Firm to Track Press Activity" (Mother Jones)

"EPA: Agency Signs Republican PR Firm To $120K Contract" (Greenwire)

"Definers Public Affairs, Group Known for Stalking And Harassing Climate Advocates, Hired By EPA To Run Media War Room" (DeSmog)

Source: NY Times, 12/18/2017