Democrats say no threats to Pruitt, urge oversight hearing on EPA spending

File The federal government's top voice on ethics has sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency outlining areas of concern regarding agency chief Scott Pruitt

EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox told Politico back in February that Pruitt was granted a "blanket waiver" to travel in first class for security reasons, but the next day, Wilcox changed his statement, saying a waiver was submitted "for every trip".

The Republican head of the U.S. House of Representative's oversight committee told Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt on Wednesday his agency has not provided requested documents about expensive air travel, including documents related to any threats that had been made on Pruitt.

"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 release responding to the letter.

The acting director and general counsel of the Office of Government Ethics sent a letter to the EPA with his concerns about Pruitt.

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Pruitt has been under fire in recent weeks for reports that he rented a condo for $50 a night from the wife of a lobbyist with business before his agency, spent at least $120,000 in taxpayer-funded first-class travel, and retaliated against staff members who questioned his spending and the need for a security force more than three times the size of past administrators.

It's unclear what happened to Pruitt's coin plans. 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".

Correction: A comment from the EPA previously included in this story was not referring to Kevin Chmielewski.

A Senate vote could come Thursday on the nomination of Andrew Wheeler to serve as EPA's deputy administrator.

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The Democrats said they found no records describing specific, credible threats against Pruitt. Perrotta's memo was prompted by an incident in which a person approached Pruitt "with threatening language" that was "vulgar", Barnet said at the time. 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.

"It is hard to reconcile the public statements of E.P.A., and the President, with these internal and external assessments", Whitehouse and Carper wrote.

EPA's Intelligence Team asked the United States Secret Service to provide a "Direction of Interest Query" in February 2017 and again this February on potential threats against Pruitt, the senators write, and neither query returned any "reports of behaviors of interest directed toward EPA Administrator Pruitt". They also acknowledged, though, that the materials might be incomplete.

President Trump has stood by Pruitt despite an avalanche of scandals.

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