GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy sent staff to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tuesday to review records from Administrator Scott Pruitt’s travel and security expenses, ABC News reported.
Gowdy, who chairs of the House Oversight Committee, sent staff to the EPA following reports Pruitt may have violated ethics rules by spending taxpayer money on first class flights and extra security. Committee staff are also investigating possible kickbacks between Pruitt and a powerful lobbyist couple from whom he rented a bedroom for his first six months serving at the EPA.
Gowdy’s team was dispatched a day after the top ethics officer in the federal government sent a letter to the EPA outlining concerns about Pruitt’s actions, expenditures and justifications.
Office of Government Ethics Acting Director David J. Apol questioned Pruitt’s decision to rent the $50-a-night bedroom on Capitol Hill from lobbyists, as well as expenditures on travel, security and employee pay. Apol also points to “extremely concerning” reports Pruitt demoted and reassigned several high-ranking officials after they questioned the administrator’s financial decisions.
Gowdy’s team has likely gone to start reviewing documents the EPA has, but the department has not produced. Gowdy was “not sure [Pruitt] going to make it that long” in a video activists shot and the Washington Examiner obtained, the GOP rep said. It is unclear when the video was shot.
President Donald Trump has continued to stand by Pruitt, tweeting his support over the weekend.
While Security spending was somewhat more than his predecessor, Scott Pruitt has received death threats because of his bold actions at EPA. Record clean Air & Water while saving USA Billions of Dollars. Rent was about market rate, travel expenses OK. Scott is doing a great job!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 8, 2018
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