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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

Internal documents pull back the curtain on Pruitt's EPA

  Internal documents pull back the curtain on Pruitt's EPA The records offer evidence of private, high-level meetings at the Trump International Hotel in Washington and lavish dinners.WASHINGTON — Newly obtained internal documents from the Environmental Protection Agency provide a behind-the-scenes look at the Scott Pruitt-led agency — offering evidence of private, high-level meetings at the Trump International Hotel in Washington and lavish dinners for top agency officials both at home and abroad.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt dodged several lines of inquiry during a Senate hearing Wednesday. The exchanges may hint at future investigation requests A Senate hearing on the Environmental Protection Agency 's budget turned into a game of cat and mouse between the agency's embattled

  • 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.

White House Aides Are Urging President Trump to Fire Scott Pruitt, the E.P.A. Chief

  White House Aides Are Urging President Trump to Fire Scott Pruitt, the E.P.A. Chief The ongoing revelations of Mr. Pruitt’s ethical missteps may be making the president more receptive to Mr. Pruitt’s exit, according to officials.WASHINGTON — Senior White House staff members are encouraging President Trump to fire Scott Pruitt, his embattled Environmental Protection Agency chief, according to two top administration officials. While Mr. Trump has until now championed Mr. Pruitt, the officials say the president’s enthusiasm may be cooling because of the ongoing cascade of alleged ethical and legal missteps.

Scott Pruitt , the former head of the Environmental Protection Agency , is the subject of 13 federal investigations into allegations of legal and ethical violations. Here’s what he has said about some of these issues.Published OnJuly 5, 2018CreditCreditImage by Tom Brenner/The New York Times.

Share: EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt dodged several questions during Senate testimony.

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.

New Files Detail the Threats Made Against Scott Pruitt at the E.P.A.

  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.

The Environmental Protection Agency 's inspector general is opening an investigation into EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt dodged several questions during Senate testimonyLoad Error. 4 Democratic senators are asking Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt for details

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has resigned after months of ethics controversies EPA chief Scott Pruitt 's long list of controversies. Trump said on Twitter that Pruitt 's recently Pruitt incurred a sizable number of investigations into his spending and practices at EPA

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.

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.

Edward Scott Pruitt (born May 9, 1968) is an American lawyer and Republican politician from the state of Oklahoma. He served as the fourteenth Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA ) from February 17, 2017 to July 6, 2018.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt was among the most controversial of As reports of Pruitt 's conduct continually surfaced, Republican senators grew weary of defending Although multiple White House staff reportedly asked Trump to remove Pruitt , the EPA chief was

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."

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.

At least a half-dozen investigations into Scott Pruitt ’s conduct will proceed against the former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Mr. Pruitt , testifying to a Senate committee in May , said there had not been a legal process at the agency to inform Congress of the office spending

Trump EPA chief Scott Pruitt resigns as ethical scandals mount. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned, President Donald The images describe EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt 's wasteful spending on luxury travel, ongoing investigations while in office, and dangerous

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."

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

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