The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hired a top consultant to investigate the agency’s employees who criticize the Trump administration.
Allan Blutstein, a vice president at the opposition research firm Definers Public Affairs, reportedly filed dozens of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the agency over the past year to find dirt on agency employees who criticized the EPA or the Trump administration while on the clock, the New York Times revealed.
“I wondered if they were emailing critical things about the agency on government time and how frequently they were corresponding about this,” Blutstein told the Times in an interview. “And did they do anything that would be useful for Republicans.”
Blutstein added that he specifically looked into government employees who were members of the “resistance.”
The firm, founded by former Mitt Romney campaign head Matt Rhoades, had been hired to assist the EPA’s communications department this month. The EPA reportedly spent $120,000 on the contract with the Arlington, Virginia firm.
A spokesperson for the EPA said that the agency primarily hired Definers to do press clips, adding that the firm offered a lower rate to do the work than the previous contractor.
“Definers was awarded the contract to do our press clips at a rate that is $87,000 cheaper than our previous vendor and they are providing no other services,” EPA spokesperson Jahan Wilcox said. “If you have questions regarding how Definers operates, we encourage you to contact them.”
Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer blasted the EPA’s decision to hire Definers Friday on Breitbart News Tonight on Sirius XM Radio, suggesting that the agency is propping up the “consultant class.”
“This is an example of the consultant class in Washington, D.C.,” Schweizer said. “It’s really a strange phenomenon, if you think about it, to most of us.”