Published: Wed, May 16, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

EPA IG Will Probe Pruitt's Use Of Nonpublic Email Accounts

EPA IG Will Probe Pruitt's Use Of Nonpublic Email Accounts

"EPA's Protective Service Detail handles security decisions and this particular decision was made before Administrator Pruitt arrived at EPA", Wilcox said.

"I'm being asked, really constantly asked, to comment on security and on housing and on travel".

The questioning was notably more aggressive than during appearances Pruitt made before House subcommittees last month, during which the Republican chairman repeatedly cut off Democrats the moment their limited time expired and allowed Pruitt not to answer.

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The inspector general's office "played no role in this decision", Elkins added.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt will testify in front of a Senate subcommittee on Wednesday about his agency's budget, exposing him to fresh questions about his travel and security spending. Pruitt is also under fire for substantial raises afforded to two young staffers he brought with him from Oklahoma, where he previously served as a Republican state attorney general. Altogether, the agency has spent about $3 million on Pruitt's 20-member full-time security detail, which is more than three times the size of his predecessor's part-time security contingent.

The EPA has said that the first-class flights were necessary, because of security threats against Pruitt.

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Trump told lawmakers in a closed-door meeting last week that he had chose to do so by expanding sales of high-ethanol gasoline called E15, counting ethanol exports toward annual volumes quotas, and cutting back the use of waivers, according to a source briefed on the meeting.

Several Democratic lawmakers have called on Pruitt to step down in recent weeks, but President Donald Trump has thrown his support behind the agency chief, saying he is doing a "fantastic" job rolling back hurdles to industry.

"What a silly reason you had to fly first class, because of a danger to you, unless you flew first class", Leahy told Pruitt at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing for the EPA.

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