EPA inspector general opens investigation of Pruitt's use of multiple email accounts

18 May, 2018, 13:42 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Pruitt requested 24/7 security on day one at EPA, internal watchdog says

Sen. Udall also asked Pruitt for his thoughts on another investigation: Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into the 2016 election. The Times reports that Pruitt is expected to run the fund privately. He says there are policies in place and he's confident his staff has followed them. "No, I don't recall".

EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins said in letters to Democratic senators that Pruitt himself initiated the 24-hour protection, which far exceeds the part-time security afforded to past EPA administrators. It added "Btw - Administrator encourages the use".

"Only Scott Pruitt and the Trump administration would consider reducing drinking water contamination for the American people to be a 'nightmare, '" remarked Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group.

"We've investigated that with the gentleman in question", Pruitt said. "Every day, there seems to be a new scandal, and you at the center of it".

"The public, media, and Congressional reaction to these numbers is going to be huge", a White House aide, who was not identified, said in an email, Politico reported.

"Then that's a gift that's in violation of federal law", Udall concluded.

The questioning was notably more aggressive than during appearances Pruitt made before House subcommittees last month, during which the Republican chairman repeatedly cut off Democrats the moment their limited time expired and allowed Pruitt not to answer. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, a Mississippi Republican, said she was "most impressed" with his push to ease regulations and clean up a contaminated site in her state.

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"I'm being asked, really constantly asked, to comment on housing, security and travel".

"All activity that I'm aware of that was engaged in by the individual that you're speaking about occurred in personal time".

"There have been decisions over the last 16 months or so that, as I look back on those decisions, I would not make the same decisions again", Pruitt said.

Pruitt repeated the claim that the extraordinary spending on his personal security was needed because the threats against him have been "unprecedented in terms of quantity and type". Shelley Moore Capito pressed the head of the Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday over recently released emails that show White House and EPA officials attempted to delay a new federal standard for C-8 and other similar toxic water-polluting chemicals, which have for decades been detected in several water systems in the Ohio Valley.

"What a silly reason you had to fly first class", said Sen. "Nobody even knew who you were". I also want to highlight for you that some of the criticism is unfounded and I think exaggerated.

As Pruitt left the hearing room, protesters trailed him through the halls of the Senate office building shouting "Mr. Pruitt, you should be fired!" and "You should be ashamed, Mr. Pruitt".

EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox repeated the assertion Monday that EPA security staff, not Pruitt, made the decision to increase the administrator's security. He briskly made his way out to a waiting black SUV with tinted windows and drove away.

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