No Evidence of Credible Threats Against Pruitt, Democrats Say

What's up with Scott Pruitt's $50-per-night condo lease?

The federal authorities's high ethics official wrote to the Environmental Safety Company's high ethics official this week asking the workplace to look into information studies from the final two weeks which have raised questions on whether or not administrator Scott Pruitt violated any moral tips since he took the helm on the EPA.

EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox has cited "unprecedented" threats against Pruitt and his family as justification for extraordinary security expenses such as first-class airfare to keep him separate from most passengers - a perk generally not available to federal employees.

But by Saturday night, President Trump took to Twitter to express support for Pruitt while also dismissing numerous reports surrounding the EPA chief's behavior.

The HBO showed off a number of apartments in D.C. available for the same price on AirBnB, in response to Pruitt's defense that he was paying "market rate", and the options - including a one leather couch named "Black Beauty" - were less than luxurious.

Still, Pruitt appears to have the backing of President Donald Trump, who on Friday tweeted that the environmental regulator is "doing a great job" but is "totally under siege". Taxpayers still covered the airfare for the administrator's security detail.

"Consequently, in an instance in which the EPA ethics office lacks sufficient evidence to assess fully an ethics matter, we have a long-standing practice of referring it to the EPA's Inspector General (IG) for investigation", Kevin Minoli, EPA's top ethics official, wrote in an April 9 letter. Susan Collins said Pruitt's actions on the environment "whether it's trying to undermine the Clean Power Plan or weaken the restrictions on lead or undermine the ethics rules" validate her decision not to vote in favor of his confirmation in the first place.

Richard Painter, who served as George W. Bush's chief White House ethics lawyer, called Pruitt's choice to accept the offer "disgusting" and "flat-out wrong".

"EPA Intelligence has not identified any specific credible direct threat to the EPA Administrator", the memo states, as described by the senators.

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.

Among them: questions about Pruitt's expenses for travel and security, the salaries of some employees and allegations that a subordinate helped with his housing search in Washington.

But the Democrats' letter says that the assessments from the US Secret Service identify no "reports of behaviors of interest" against Pruitt, and says that "an internal EPA Intelligence Office report that disputes the administrator's claims that the nature of the threats against him justify his expenditures".

A request for comment from the EPA was not answered Monday.

Such efforts reportedly included almost $9,000 previous year on sweeping his office for hidden listening devices and biometric locks for the doors - and spending $43,000 for a soundproof phone booth for Pruitt's office. If confirmed, he would replace the administrator if Pruitt were to get fired or resign. But she also called for congressional oversight on the issues and argued that on policy alone Pruitt was "the wrong person to head the EPA".

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