Adding:GOP chairman sends staff to review Pruitt travel records at EPA
The Republican chairman of the powerful House Oversight Committee has dispatched staff to the Environmental Protection Agency to review records of embattled administrator Scott Pruitt’s first class travel and security expenses, a committee aide told ABC News Tuesday.
South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy's move to send staff to the EPA this week comes after the panel expanded its review to include Pruitt’s controversial $50-a-night rental arrangement. It's the latest sign that ethics concerns raised mostly by Democrats over Pruitt’s spending at EPA could still spread across the aisle.
On Friday, the federal government's top ethics official sent a letter to the EPA expressing concerns with the mounting ethics questions facing Pruitt's actions at the agency, warning that the American public "needs to have confidence that ethics violations, as well as the appearance of ethics violations, are investigated and properly addressed."
Gowdy's staff is reviewing spending on Pruitt's travel, including Pruitt's recent trip to Morocco, and how much Pruitt and the government have spent on expenses and security, according to an aide. The committee's Republican staff has yet to review the waivers that allowed Pruitt to travel first class, which Gowdy first requested in a Feb. 20 letter. The EPA has previously turned over documents to the committee showing that Pruitt spent more than $105,000 on flights - including first-class trips - in his first nine months as the EPA chief.
Committee Democrats, led by Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the ranking member of the panel, have asked Gowdy to subpoena the EPA for records and hold a hearing with Pruitt and top EPA officials.
WaPo: GOP oversight chairman demands more records on Pruitt’s travel, housing