EPA Ousted Staffer Who Signed Report That Weakened Pruitt's Security Claims

Pruitt's security expenses questioned in internal EPA docs

Senate Democrats have obtained internal Environmental Protection Agency documents they say show no evidence of specific, credible, physical threats against Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Democrats on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee wrote in a letter Tuesday that they have reviewed security assessments describing 16 purported threats against Pruitt.

The agency, which did not respond to a request for comment on the Democrats' letter, has justified the first-class travel and extra security as a precaution taken because of threats to Pruitt.

Gowdy's office sent a new letter to Pruitt Wednesday, pointing out that the EPA "failed to produce all the documents requested" specifically citing the waivers. Pruitt's chief takes responsibility for controversial raises GOP senators push back on calls to investigate Pruitt MORE reportedly pushed past year for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to redesign its official memorabilia in ways emphasizing his name, and in some cases removing the agency's logo.

The agency pushed back strongly on Tuesday. He added that Pruitt's security spending "somewhat more" than prior EPA chiefs, but said Pruitt had received death threats "because of his bold actions at EPA". It was unclear whether the move, first reported by Politico, was triggered by the release of information related to Pruitt's security.

Committee Chairman John Barrasso quickly rebuffed that request, saying no hearing on Pruitt's security procedures will be held.




"I am deeply troubled that members of the committee would publicly release law enforcement sensitive information regarding the safety and security of a cabinet member and his family", Barrasso said in a statement. The letter quoted from the internal EPA documents but the full documents were not made public.

EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins is conducting at least five investigative audits related to Pruitt, including a probe into questionable spending by his swollen security detail.

Chmielewski, who is on administrative leave without pay, is one of several EPA officials who departed or were reassigned after raising concerns about how Pruitt and his deputies operated. "Scott Pruitt has lost all credibility and the confidence of the American people - it's time for him to go". EPA spokeswoman Jahan Wilcox told the Daily News that the agency hasn't ordered any since Pruitt took over.

"Regrettably, the President is obliged to withdraw your appointment in the face of the advice from the governing board of the EPA which does not find you a suitable candidate for the position", the letter, signed by the Secretary to President, Nana Asante Bediatuo, explained. They also acknowledged, though, that the materials might be incomplete. "However, another view is that certain factions within EPA have justified the exorbitant taxpayer spending incurred by the Administrator's first-class travel and large entourage of security personnel through unsubstantiated claims about threats to his security, either at the direction of the Administrator himself or others in the agency". "Either way, the EPW Committee has a responsibility to look into these matters".

President Donald Trump defended Pruitt in a tweet Saturday night, downplaying the ethical questions swirling around his embattled EPA chief. Pruitt had planned to travel to Mexico this week, according to multiple agency officials, but has postponed the visit.

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