Rep. Gowdy Demands More Details on Scott Pruitt's First-Class Travel, Condo Deal

Alyssa Bailey
April 12, 2018

The Environmental Protection Agency pointed to social media posts that were critical of Administrator Scott Pruitt to help justify his massive security expenses, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

Clearly irked over Pruitt's refusal to satisfy the committee's requests, Gowdy demanded the administrator "Provide the requested documents and information as soon as possible, but no later than April 25, 2018".

In addition, Gowdy said in his letter Wednesday that he plans to examine Pruitt's unusual lease agreement for a condo on Capitol Hill past year with Vicki Hart, a health-care lobbyist.

Even if Pruitt were to resign or be fired, Republicans have expressed concern about confirming a replacement given their slim Senate majority and the absence of Sen.

The Democrats said they found no records describing specific, credible threats against Pruitt.

The appointment of Acting Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Mr Peter Abum-Sarkodie, has been withdrawn, a letter from Office of the President has said.

President Trump has moreover continued to face by Pruitt publicly, tweeting his help over the weekend. Those include messages threatening to leave scrapings of old paint at the administrator's office and one telling Pruitt "we are watching you" on the agency's climate-related policies. But there have been more questions and calls for investigation into whether it created a conflict of interest for Pruitt to rent from the wife of a lobbyist whose firm represented clients with interests before the EPA.

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A Senate vote could come Thursday on the nomination of Andrew Wheeler to serve as EPA's deputy administrator.

Administrator Pruitt is facing three separate investigations. Pruitt is scheduled to testify in front of part of the House Energy and Commerce Committee later this month. John McCain, R-Ariz., who is battling brain cancer at home in Arizona.

Tom Carper of DE and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, said in a letter Tuesday to Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) that they were provided with an internal EPA document that said a threat assessment did not justify such expenses.

Staff for Democratic Sen. Susan Collins of ME opposed his nomination.

As Pruitt and his allies continue to push back against criticism of his conduct in office, Democrats have continued to add to the drumbeat of calls for oversight and accountability at the EPA. Sheldon Whitehouse, wrote Barrasso on Tuesday asking for into Pruitt's security spending.

While the agency did turn over documents last month detailing almost $68,000 in previously undisclosed travel costs for Pruitt during the seven months leading up to February, Gowdy said EPA officials have failed to produce the security waivers that Pruitt used to justify his purchase of premium tickets at taxpayer expense. Pruitt's staff cited death threats to rebut criticism of Pruitt flying in first-class airline seats and a full-time security detail of 20 armed officers.

EPA has denied any connection between the personnel action against Caraballo and the release of the Democrats' letter. The letter quoted from the internal EPA documents but the full documents were not made public.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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