Lawmaker Says EPA's Pruitt Subject of 12 Probes, Grilled by Senate Panel

Erika Holt
May 18, 2018

Pruitt said his EPA aide Milian Hupp looked for housing on his behalf "on personal time".

EPA chief Scott Pruitt received a grilling on Capitol Hill Wednesday over the multiple areas in which he has allegedly spent hundreds of thousands - perhaps even millions - of taxpayer dollars for arguably unnecessary purchases. That's not to mention Pruitt's pricey private flight habit and $43,000 soundproof phone booth, all on the taxpayer dime. Asked Friday if he still had confidence in Pruitt, Trump told reporters, "I do".

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt will testify before the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee's subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies on Wednesday. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who made a brief appearance at the hearing.

Pruitt, who did not refer to Hupp by name but called her "a longtime friend, " said that when it came to her assistance, "it's my understanding that all activity there was on personal time".

"What a silly reason you had to fly first class", Leahy said.

The agency's inspector general, an independent watchdog office that investigates threats against EPA employees, said in letters to two Democratic senators Monday that the EPA began providing Pruitt with a 24/7 detail on his first day as the administrator.

The email, written by then-EPA special agent Pasquale "Nino" Perrotta just days after Pruitt's confirmation in February 2017, has the subject line "Lights and Sirens".

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"I think as attorney general, it's important for law enforcement, those investigators that serve prosecutors to be able to provide adequate information to them to make informed decisions about how they will proceed as prosecutor". Udall said it appears Pruitt "mocked" Senate Democrats on Twitter after they voted to confirm his deputy Andrew Wheeler. a violation of the Hatch Act.

If you want the EPA deciding what chemicals are safe based on what the makers of those chemicals say, then you might want to join Mr. Hahn in cheering this plan. "Those policies were followed by the agencies".

But he also acknowledged that he would have done some things differently during his 16 months at the agency so far.

Now, three months after the email about the potential impact of the study was forwarded on January 30 by James Herz, who oversees environmental issues at the Office of Management and Budget, the study is still not published, according to Politico. Several, including Democrats, asked about Superfund sites in their states.

A top Republican senator worries that the ethical cloud hanging over President Donald Trump's top environmental official is overshadowing the administration's pro-business regulatory moves.

The West Virginia Republican also asked Pruitt about a toxicology study on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, that is reportedly being held up by EPA. He added that he did not pay her for this service.

"The public, media, and Congressional reaction to these numbers is going to be huge", a White House aide, who was not identified, said in an email, Politico reported.

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