Wednesday, 18 September, 2019

Hugh Hewitt scolded for Pruitt advocacy

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt testifies about the fiscal year 2018 budget during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior Environment and Related Agencies hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington MoreCloseclosemore
Patty Aguilar | 10 May, 2018, 14:53

But that is likely to change in the coming weeks, the two officials said.

While the EPA has not provided detailed waivers, it has handed over more than 1,700 pages of documents in response to multiple requests relating to Pruitt's travel habits, unprecedented security, and sweetheart condo deal from an energy lobbyist, according to Gowdy's office. Perrotta wrote that he had noticed "lashing out from passengers which occurs while the Administrator is seated in coach with [his security detail] not easily accessible to him due to uncontrolled full flights".

"I was disturbed to learn this morning that Hugh Hewitt had intervened with EPA administrator Scott Pruitt on behalf of Hewitt's law firm as he was writing about Pruitt in a column for The Washington Post". The documents include vouchers for all of Pruitt's official travel since he was confirmed and for EPA, vouchers for staff who went on global trips to Italy and Morocco, emails regarding Pruitt's lease of a room from a lobbyist's wife, and EPA correspondence between that lobbyist and other employees of his firm.

Conklin wrote she "determined your request complies with criteria" for allowing first or business class seats, and pointed the Administrator's office to a specific paragraph of government travel regulations.

More corroborating evidence of the involvement of Richard Smotkin in planning Pruitt's Morocco trip.

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Lawmakers have questioned the security concerns cited as justification for increased spending on Pruitt's security detail and first-class travel.

Perrotta said in an interview with a conservative news outlet this week that various incidents with social media and other examples of threats, including what he called "very graphic" messages on Pruitt family's phones, were enough to show that threats against Pruitt were an issue.

Perrotta, who retired from the EPA last week, has been on Capitol Hill answering questions from congressional investigators. What exactly investigators found was unclear, but they concluded the case should be "closed without further action". Pruitt is facing 11 investigations into his spending, management practices and ethical lapses. Ten of those in fiscal 2018 involved Pruitt, the documents show. These documents expose a deeply rooted culture of corruption surrounding Scott Pruitt and his dealings in essentially every aspect of his job. Investigators looked into threats involving a range of people in an array of states, at times recommending criminal prosecution of those involved - though federal prosecutors often declined to move forward with charges. "We will be glad to help the initiative in any way we can", Rodney W. Nichols, an applied physicist and consultant to the CO2 Coalition, wrote on May 17 to Lincoln Ferguson, Mr. Pruitt's senior adviser for public affairs.

Breaking with all of his predecessors at the EPA for the last 25 years, as well as other members of President Trump's cabinet, Pruitt does not release a list of public speaking events and he discloses most official trips only after they are over.

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