That’s according to testimony released Monday by two Democrats in a letter to Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
In particular, Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Gerald Connolly (D-Va.), clued in on statements made by Pruitt’s director of scheduling and advance Millan Hupp, whom Pruitt regularly asked to do personal tasks for him, likely in violation of federal ethics laws.
Among the requests detailed in Monday’s release are these oddities:
- In the summer of 2017, Scott Pruitt asked Hupp to look into buying “an old mattress” from the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. Hupp told investigators she wasn’t sure what, exactly, Pruitt wanted the used Trump mattress for, or if he ended up buying it. To the best of her knowledge, it wasn’t for EPA business.
- Pruitt asked Hupp to book personal travel for him, at one point contacting Hupp while she was on vacation over Christmas and instructing her to book flights so he could see the Rose Bowl.
- At Pruitt’s direction, Hupp spent “several hours per week over the course of several months” personally researching and visiting rental properties for the EPA administrator to move into. Pruitt and his wife ultimately selected an apartment Hupp found, but then moved out soon after because “they were not comfortable in the area,” Hupp said. (This is about the same time Pruitt was renting an apartment from the wife of a prominent energy lobbyist at below-market rates.)
“If Ms. Hupp’s statements to the Committee are accurate, Administrator Pruitt crossed a very clear line and must be held accountable,” Reps. Connolly and Cummings wrote. “Federal ethics law prohibits Administrator Pruitt from using his official position for personal gain and from requesting and accepting services from a subordinate employee that are not part of that employee’s official duties.”
Monday’s revelations are the latest in a long, long string of questionable activity undertaken at Pruitt’s behest.
Over the weekend, we learned Pruitt has an appetite for fancy pens, and reportedly spent $3,230 last August at a D.C. jewelry store on a dozen silver fountain pens and some personalized journals ― at taxpayer expense.
In April, the Government Accountability Office concluded the EPA chief’s decision to install a $43,000 soundproof phone booth was illegal. And presumably there are a number of other ongoing investigations into Pruitt’s extensive use of first-class travel, expensive security detail, and official visits to international locales with no clear relation to his work at the EPA.
Do you know more about what’s going on with Pruitt’s aides? We’d love to hear from you.