Pressure on the administrator of the Agency for environmental protection Scott Pruitt is building as the creepy details emerge about his activities on this post.
On Thursday, the house of representatives and the Senate Democrats sent two letters to Pruitt and the White house finish new alleged violations stipulated by Kevin Chmielewski, a former aide to President campaign trump, who worked as Deputy chief of staff for environmental protection in accordance Pruitt.
The letters reveal a deep concern Hmelevskiy on a variety of misconduct, including the failure of Pruitt to stay in safe hotels, recommended by the state Department for international travel, preferring more luxurious hotels. Chmielewski also said that when he objected to retroactively sign the documents substantiating the first class administrator and one of his lieutenants, he was on the sidelines and had received threats from Nino Perrotta, head of Pruitt 24-hour security. It’s worth reading the letters in their entirety:
Approval on luxury travel, sweetheart housing deal with a lobbyist, retaliation against employees, and use Pruitt a loophole in raises during the two assistants that had been mounting for several weeks, is not trivial. They can be a serious breach of ethics if not law.
And the government Watchdog investigators is now systematically build a paper trail.
The new York times reported this week that David Apol office of government of ethics, top ethics official in the Federal government, took the unusual step of writing a letter to the EPA, the head of ethics, Kevin Minoli, asking him to investigate potential ethics violations.
Manage government reporting and General EPA inspector also examines the record in the Agency. And legislators, including some Republicans, are demanding answers.
“It’s getting worse every time there is a report in the news,” said house oversight Committee Chairman Trey gowdy (R-SC) at the autograph session on Saturday. “I don’t have much patience for this sort of thing”.
The investigation probably will take months to complete, but the sentences could change the permanent Pruitt in the White house and his future in government.
Here is a list based on the best information we could gather a lot of investigations in my time in the office:
EPA the house watchdog on the case
EPA office of the inspector General audits and investigating possible wrongdoing in the Agency. Although this is part of EPA, Congress appropriates its budget separately in order to give him independence.
IG Prosecutor’s office confirmed to VOX that the four checks associated with Pruitt being:
- There is an expanded investigation into “the frequency, cost and extent of movement of the administrator” after reports of a tendency Pruitt for the first class of flights and nearly $200,000 in travel expenses.
- Pruitt has surrounded himself with an unprecedented 24-hour security with as many as 20 members. New concerns about the cost of its arrangement of security has been rolled into a previous revision IG to begin in 2016, looking at overpayments to staff.
- Based on the previous audit, the IG also considers fixed costs, bodyguards Pruitt and potential lie in how the team recorded their hours.
- IG learns to use the Pruitt administrative recruitment under the law On the safety of drinking water, which allows the EPA to bring on staff without the approval of Congress or the White house. The audit includes a report that two close aides Pruitt received huge raises after the White house refused to provide pay bumps.
There are other audits is gaining momentum as well:
- Samantha Dravis, Deputy administrator for policy in environmental protection, who went abroad with Pruitt, abruptly resigned earlier this month from her $179,700. Senator Tom Karper (d-de) asked the IG last month to check the report that it did not come to work, most of the time between November 2017 and January 2018. IG Prosecutor’s office confirmed to VOX that the test is in full swing, that has not been officially announced.
- The IG is also reviewing the opportunity to explore the living conditions of Pruitt’s. Pruitt rented a cushy Condo near Capitol hill last year at the too-good-to-be-true calculation $50 a night, and only night he stayed there. The apartment belongs to the wife of a prominent lobbyist, who said the petition to EPA on behalf of the electricity industry and whose firm represents major oil and gas interests.
- House Democrats report that the IG does Pruitt have violated anti-lobbying rules in April 2017 meetings with representatives of the National mining Association, where he encouraged the group press-service of the President trump to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement.
SP also is considering, EPA
The key objective of SP is to track how the government spends money, it is therefore logical that the Agency is very interested in what is happening in the EPA.
- Pruitt was soundproof phone booth built in his office for the sum of 43,000$. GAO has now taken over the investigation with the EPA IG.
- GAO is also investigating Pruitt for violating the anti-propaganda law. Pruitt appeared in videos for Association national cattlemen’s beef farmers ask to speak against the expansion of the clean water Act.
And some on Capitol hill want more from GAO.
- In November of last year, 10 Senate Democrats asked the GAO to investigate purge Pruitt of scientific advisors.
- Earlier this month, Senator Tammy Duckworth (d-Il) sent a letter to SP with a request to look into possible abuses Pruitt authority recruitment as well.
Congress wants to know what happened
The oversight Committee is also investigating travel and housing at Pruitt. Yesterday gowdy, the Chairman said in the letter that he was not satisfied with how the Agency is cooperating with the inquiry.
Meanwhile, the three Republicans have called Pruitt to resign, while two senators to publicly stand up in his defense. At the same time, the allies of the administrator in the sector of fossil fuels, and among conservative groups rallying the troops to keep him in the office, trying to justify their massive security detail and shy away from checks as a political ploy. (White house began its own investigation in Condo Internet Pruitt as well.)
By the time these checks will yield tangible results (this can be several months), the pressure on Prewitt probably dissipated. But environmentalists are energized and some Democrats smell blood in the water, so they can’t let this go and will continue to do more requests.
And come November, the balance of power may shift in Congress. So the White house will have to weigh whether Pruitt can still move the ball on the trump agenda against recalcitrant questions about his ethics.