Offbeat These 7 exchanges between EPA chief Scott Pruitt and senators may hint at future investigations

17:00  17 may  2018
17:00  17 may  2018 Source:   cnbc.com

EPA inspector general investigating Pruitt email accounts

  EPA inspector general investigating Pruitt email accounts The Environmental Protection Agency's inspector general is opening an investigation into Administrator Scott Pruitt's use of multiple email accounts. Inspector General Arthur Elkins is telling two Democratic senators that his office will review the matter despite budget and staff constraints. With the latest announcement, he is conducting about a half-dozen investigative audits of Pruitt's travel, security and other matters.The request for the email investigation came from Democratic Sens. Tom Carper of Delaware and Jeffrey Merkley of Oregon. Carper released a copy of the IG letter.

Pruitt may have violated the Oklahoma Rules of Professional Conduct when he told a U.S. Senate month, Pruitt was ordered by an Oklahoma judge to turn over thousands of communications between his EPA Scott Pruitt Lobbying emails Ethics Investigation Oklahoma Bar Association Senate

But this week, as federal investigations surrounding Pruitt 's ethical scandals. Scott Pruitt ’s attempt to defend himself against his scandals could turn into a new scandal. With list of investigations growing, EPA chief makes plans for legal defense fund.

  • EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt dodged several lines of inquiry during a Senate hearing Wednesday.
  • The exchanges may hint at future investigation requests by Democrats, whose inquiries have led to many of the probes Pruitt now faces.
  • Government officials, the White House and Congress have opened about a dozen investigations into Pruitt's security detail, travel expenses, housing arrangement and other issues.

A Senate hearing on the Environmental Protection Agency's budget turned into a game of cat and mouse between the agency's embattled leader and Democratic lawmakers.

EPA chief Pruitt's ethics issues have raised concerns: White House

  EPA chief Pruitt's ethics issues have raised concerns: White House President Donald Trump is pleased with the job Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt is doing but allegations of ethical missteps "have raised some concerns," a White House spokesman said on Thursday. The White House is hopeful Pruitt will be able to answer the concerns, spokesman Raj Shah told reporters aboard Air Force One en route to Elkhart, Indiana.Pruitt has been under fire for potential ethics lapses, including flying first class, excessive spending on security, and the rental of a room in a Washington condominium owned by the wife of an energy lobbyist.

This article is over 1 month old. The Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Scott Pruitt . Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters. Leading opposition figures went on the offensive on Sunday, the Democratic Alabama senator Doug Jones saying Pruitt was in “real trouble” and “ may be on his

Trump's EPA administrator Scott Pruitt has been plagued by ethics questions. One Republican senator reacted—to this and other missteps—by calling Pruitt “juvenile” and a “chucklehead.” Gant distinguishes between the types of misbehavior Pruitt is accused of.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on Wednesday weathered his second Capitol Hill grilling in just under a month. Pruitt is facing about a dozen investigations into his travel and security expenses, his rental of a condo linked to an energy lobbyist and several other management and ethics issues.

Democrats spent much of Wednesday's hearing before the Senate subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies questioning Pruitt on those probes. Pruitt, a former Oklahoma attorney general, worded his responses carefully, often declining to give straight answers.

However, the verbal sparring could offer clues about future investigations. Many of the probes Pruitt now faces directly stem from inquiries by Democrats to government watchdogs.

EPA chief to face fresh questions about spending in senate hearing

  EPA chief to face fresh questions about spending in senate hearing U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt will testify in front of a Senate subcommittee on Wednesday about his agency's budget, exposing him to fresh questions about his travel and security spending. Pruitt has been under pressure from mainly Democratic lawmakers in recent weeks over a series of controversies ranging from his use of first-class travel to his 24/7 security detail and costly office renovations - but has retained the support of President Donald Trump and most Republicans for his efforts at EPA to roll back regulations characterized as obstacles to industry.

As EPA administrator, Pruitt has been underneath intense scrutiny because it was first revealed Dolphin Physique-Slams Paddle Boarder – May These 9 Stars Combat a Physique-Slamming Dolphin? (health E. Coli Outbreak Investigation Spans 7 States (News). Top News Press - April 12, 2018.

The feds are really, really curious about what Scott Pruitt ’s been up to. As the controversies surrounding the EPA chief have mounted in recent weeks, so have the federal investigations .

Here are seven exchanges between Pruitt and senators, led by Democrats Tom Udall of New Mexico and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, that may have planted the seeds for further investigations.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President-elect Donald Trump's choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency, testifies during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on Capitol Hill January 18, 201© Provided by CNBC Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President-elect Donald Trump's choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency, testifies during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on Capitol Hill January 18, 201

Pruitt's 24/7 security request

Round-the-clock security for Pruitt has cost taxpayers about $3 million, an expense the EPA has justified by saying the beefed-up protection was recommended by security personnel. A report by the EPA's inspector general has since showed that Pruitt himself requested 24-hour protection. Asked about that report, Pruitt repeatedly refused to state clearly whether or not he had actually made the request. He instead stressed that he was not the person who actually approved the constant protection.

Senators press Pruitt for details on new legal defense fund

  Senators press Pruitt for details on new legal defense fund 4 Democratic senators are asking Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt for details about his new legal defense fund. Pruitt is the topic of a series of federal ethics investigations. Load Error

This included ,641 for Pruitt ’s first-class seat from Washington to New York – a flight of about 90 minutes – and more than ,000 for a military jet to fly the 589 miles between New Documents Reveal That Corrupt EPA Chief Scott Pruitt Is Somehow Worse Than We Already Thought.

EPA chief Scott Pruitt faces renewed pressure despite Trump's support. The Democratic senators called the timing of Caraballo’s firing “deeply troubling”. “ This development underscores the need for the environment and public works committee to conduct effective oversight of the EPA to answer the

Sirens and lights

Pruitt asked his security detail to use lights and sirens in government vehicles when he was running late, according to a staffer who was allegedly reassigned after refusing to approve first-class travel requests for Pruitt. On Wednesday, Pruitt said he could not recall ever asking his staff to flash lights or blare sirens. Udall then presented an internal EPA email from Pruitt's former head of security saying "Administrator encourages the use" of lights and sirens. Two Senate Democrats on Wednesday asked EPA's inspector general to investigate the tenure of Pruitt's former head of security, Pasquale Perrotta.

Slow-walking a chemicals report

Emails released this week showed that EPA political appointees were involved in delaying the release of a Health and Human Services report on chemicals linked to water contamination near U.S. military bases. Trump staffers were concerned the report would be a "public relations nightmare" for EPA and the Department of Defense. Pruitt initially did not address the allegations of slow-walking the HHS report. When pressed by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W. Va., he said, "I was not aware that there had been some holding back of the report."

Email challenges Pruitt account on motorcade lights, siren

  Email challenges Pruitt account on motorcade lights, siren Lawmakers at a Senate hearing hammer Scott Pruitt with his toughest questioning to date amid federal investigations on his spending, bodyguards and ties with lobbyists. Democrat Sen. Tom Udall led prosecutor-style questioning that included dramatic production of an email contradicting the Environmental Protection Agency administrator. Pruitt denies direct responsibility for alleged ethical missteps that have prompted about a dozen probes.Pruitt, appearing before a Senate appropriations subcommittee, denied direct responsibility for alleged ethical missteps that have prompted about a dozen probes, including ones by Congress, the EPA's inspector general, the Government Accountability Office and the Office of Manageme

Scott Pruitt Edward ( Scott ) Scott Pruitt Pruitt aides’ scrutiny of public records requests slowing releases: report Upheaval at Pruitt 's EPA as departures These actions exemplify a potentially larger pattern of illegal activities by Pruitt and EPA staff as these directives from a cabinet member may

President Trump says he has confidence in EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and called NAFTA 'a terrible deal,' while at an automaker roundtable on May 11. "I think, Republican senators are pro-trade, and pro-NAFTA," he said. "So the support would be there if it's a good agreement."

Pruitt's legal defense fund

Pruitt confirmed news reports that he is establishing a legal defense fund due to the many allegations of ethics violations leveled against him. On Wednesday, Pruitt said the fund would not accept donations from lobbyists or companies with business before the EPA. However, when asked whether he would also reject anonymous donations, Pruitt said he is not responsible for soliciting donations and would heed the advice of the Government Accountability Office. Van Hollen told him he should not accept anonymous donations in that case, because the White House Office of Legal Counsel advises against it.

Where in the world was Samantha Dravis?

The EPA inspector general is investigating allegations that a former top aide to Pruitt, Samantha Dravis, was rarely in the office between November 2017 and January 2018. Asked about the alleged absence, Pruitt said he had interacted with her during those months and her schedule shows she held meetings during the period in question. When Udall asked if that means she was indeed at work the entire time, Pruitt said, "That's not what I said, Senator. I said I interacted with her during that time frame and she was providing other services during that time frame as well."

Pruitt's apartment-hunting aide

A long-time aide who followed Pruitt from Oklahoma to Washington, Millan Hupp, conducted an apartment search for Pruitt while employed at the EPA. On Wednesday, Pruitt said Hupp, a friend of his wife, performed the search on her own time and was not paid. That arrangement constitutes a gift and violates federal employment rules, Udall claimed.

When asked whether he would turn over any communications with Hupp regarding the housing hunt, Pruitt said yes, but then revised his answer: "With the clarification, obviously, that it would be EPA emails. It would be, you know, emails from the agency. That's what I trust you're asking for." Udall said he wants all emails, including from EPA accounts. "As I indicated, from the agency, yes," Pruitt said.

Is EPA playing politics with FOIA requests?

EPA emails obtained by Politico indicate Pruitt's political appointees have been screening Freedom of Information Act requests. Questioned by Udall whether EPA imposed a political review process for FOIA inquiries, Pruitt said, "Not to my knowledge, no." After clarifying his question, Udall once again asked Pruitt whether he had imposed a political review process. Pruitt said, "I'm not entirely sure what I can say other than what I've said about that, Senator."

New Files Detail the Threats Made Against Scott Pruitt at the E.P.A. .
The E.P.A. chief has cited the memos to justify costly round-the-clock security, which has attracted criticism and scrutiny.Want the latest climate news in your inbox? You can sign up here to receive Climate Fwd:, our new email newsletter.

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