United States ethics office says EPA needs to 'take action' on Pruitt allegations

As the chief of the Environmental Protection Agency, Pruitt is supposedly in charge of protecting our nation's environment - hence the "environmental protection" part.

If Pruitt survives to fight another day, as I think he may, it will be a rare example of someone within the Trump universe who triumphs over political perception thanks to his policy substance.

In November, BuzzFeed News investigative reporter Jason Leopold filed a public records request with EPA for copies of government records about death threats to Pruitt.

Almost three dozen EPA security and law enforcement agents were assigned to Pruitt, according to a summary of six weeks of weekly schedules obtained by Democratic Sen. The costs have totaled above $2 million, and have included sweeps of his office, biometric locks on his office and first-class airline travel.

The agency pushed back strongly on Tuesday.

But EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox insisted on Friday that an "unprecedented" number of death threats against Pruitt was the reason behind the cost of his security.

The EPA did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the OGE's letter. She only had a security detail during travel.

"We'll nitpick little things: he has too many people on his security detail, it may add up to more than what the previous guy did", he said. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island. "This letter selectively quotes non-public documents".

Scott Pruitt is facing new and expanded ethics investigations for his handling of taxpayer dollars and possible perks he's gotten as head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

While the chairman made it clear he will not be investigating Pruitt in the near future, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is pressing ahead.

Another critique has revolved around the fact that Pruitt was renting a condominium from an energy lobbyist at the exact same time that the EPA approved a pipeline-extension plan advocated by the lobbyist's firm.

Shortly after arriving in Washington, Pruitt, 49, demoted the career staff member heading his security detail and replaced him with EPA Senior Special Agent Pasquale "Nino" Perrotta, a former Secret Service agent who operates a private security company.

Apol said that his office "expects that EPA will review and analyze the alleged conduct described above" and "take appropriate action" if it finds any violations.

When asked if Pruitt should keep his job, Kennedy wouldn't give him an up or down vote.

'This daily drop of accusations of excessive spending and ethical violations serve to further distract the agency from accomplishing its very important mission, ' Collins said on CNN's State of the Union Sunday.

Republican lawmakers, like leaders of the Congressional Western Caucus, put out a statement backing the administrator.

The South Dakota senator attributed recent reporting on Pruitt's actions to nitpicking. He also acknowledged, though, that the materials may be incomplete. They don't look good. One of them fought buying Pruitt a $100,000-per-month charter aircraft membership, spending $70,000 to replace two office desks and wasting $43,000 on a soundproof booth in the administrator's office.

  • Rogelio Becker