"WASHINGTON — A consulting firm has pulled out of a federal contract to provide media monitoring services to the Environmental Protection Agency after it was disclosed that a lawyer among its top executives had been investigating agency employees critical of the Trump administration.
Joe Pounder, the president of Definers Public Affairs, said in a statement on Twitter that his company’s $120,000 contract with the E.P.A., which it was awarded this month, had become a “distraction.”
The contract came under scrutiny because of the company’s links to America Rising, a Virginia-based corporation and Republican political operation with several offshoots that have investigated E.P.A. officials. One lawyer on the company’s staff, Allan Blutstein, sent a series of Freedom of Information Act requests to the E.P.A. asking for email correspondence by employees who had been publicly critical of the Trump administration’s management of the agency."