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GOP committee chair asks EPA for more documents to review Pruitt travel

12 April, 2018, 07:28 | Author: Lydia Fleming
  • Files undercut Pruitt's need for 1st-class travel

President Trump has moreover continued to face by Pruitt publicly, tweeting his help over the weekend.

Pruitt has been under fire in recent weeks for reports that he rented a condo for $50 a night from the wife of a lobbyist with business before his agency, spent at least $120,000 in taxpayer-funded first-class travel, and retaliated against staff members who questioned his spending and the need for a security force more than three times the size of past administrators. Former EPA deputy chief of staff for operations Kevin Chmielewski - who objected to the Pruitt's travel spending as well as other aspects of his management - is meeting with a group of panel investigators Tuesday, according to individuals who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the committee's internal deliberations.

Tom Carper of DE and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, said in a letter Tuesday to Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) that they were provided with an internal EPA document that said a threat assessment did not justify such expenses.

The controversies led to calls for Pruitt's resignation or firing by a handful of Republicans and several Democrats. It's the latest sign that ethics points raised largely by Democrats over Pruitt's spending at EPA may nonetheless unfold all through the aisle.

Pruitt - who's facing scrutiny over a dizzying number of controversies involving hefty traveling, security and lodging expenses - entered the Environmental Protection Agency with a determination to overhaul the department's mission to protect the environment. Tom Carper, D-Del. Pruitt is scheduled to testify in front of part of the House Energy and Commerce Committee later this month. The reported threats, the letter said, included mundane incidents like protestors attempting to disrupt Pruitt's speech at a private event and letters or social media posts expressing displeasure with the administrator's actions.

Pruitt was barely confirmed in February of 2017 in a 52 to 46 vote.

The upper chamber may also be coping with looming affirmation battles for Trump's new picks to information the State Division, CIA, and Division of Veterans Affairs.

EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox said last week there had been an "unprecedented" amount of death threats against Pruitt and his family. Sheldon Whitehouse, wrote Barrasso on Tuesday asking for into Pruitt's security spending. The dedication that there have been additional extreme threats in the direction of Pruitt has been cited as the reason that he needs a 24/7 security factor and commonly takes first-class flights.

The same February assessment described repeated efforts by EPA intelligence officials to tell the agency's inspector general and senior leadership "that "the threat" to the Administrator was being inappropriately mischaracterized" by Pruitt's security detail, Whitehouse wrote in the letter, sent jointly with Sen.

Barrasso slammed the Democrats' letter in a press launch Tuesday, reprimanding Democrats for releasing in regards to the administrator's security. The letter quoted from the internal EPA documents but the full documents were not made public.


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