EPA chief of staff Ryan Jackson, second from right. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

By DANIEL LIPPMAN

11/07/2019 08:34 PM EST

Updated: 11/07/2019 09:47 PM EST

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The Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general is investigating whether chief of staff Ryan Jackson was involved in destroying internal documents that should have been retained, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The IG’s office is asking witnesses whether Jackson has routinely destroyed politically sensitive documents, including schedules and letters from people like lobbyist Richard Smotkin, who helped arrange a trip for then-EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to Morocco when he was in office, according to one of the sources, a former administration official who told investigators he has seen Jackson do that firsthand.

The previously unreported allegations add to the controversy around Jackson, a former aide to Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) who has been at EPA since the early days of the Trump administration. EPA’s internal watchdog accused Jackson earlier this week of refusing to cooperate with other ongoing investigations.

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