Published: Sat, April 14, 2018

Senate confirms Trump pick for No

Senate confirms Trump pick for No

Over eight pages, the Democrats detail point-by-point how Chmielewski corroborated recent reports alleging questionable spending and actions at the EPA under Pruitt.

Kevin Chmielewski, a former Trump campaign aide who until recently served as deputy chief of staff for operations to Pruitt, told congressional staffers that Pruitt routinely pushed for unjustified expenditures on his travel, lodging and changes to his office, and that he marginalized employees who questioned his directives, the Washington Post reported Thursday.

As the EPA's deputy administrator, Andrew Wheeler will be next in line to lead the agency if embattled administrator Scott Pruitt is forced out or resigns.

Other Republicans, including the chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said they were confident that Wheeler will be a good addition to the agency. The letter did not specify if Chmielewski has personally discussed the raises with Pruitt.

After coming aboard the agency, Chmielewski claimed he watched Pruitt spend taxpayer funds on everything from bulletproof vests and biometric locks to brand new vehicles and décor for his office to a $30,000 contract for private security guards from Italy.

An EPA spokesman told the paper: "We will respond to members of Congress through the proper channel".

Chmielewski met Tuesday with Democratic investigators and huddled Thursday with Republicans from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, according to staffers on Capitol Hill. Tom Carper of Delaware, Sen.

New Mexico Democratic Sen.

In an email, Wilcox said that "all accounts are searched before we respond to [any] FOIA request".

Democrats raised concerns that his ties to the fossil fuel industry could influence his actions at the agency, which they criticize for undoing environmental protections and for lacking transparency under Pruitt.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, previously blasted Wheeler as "a former industry lobbyist who has worked on behalf of big polluters and climate change deniers".

"We have at least four times - four to five times the number of threats against Mr. Pruitt than we had against Ms. [Gina] McCarthy", Sullivan said, referring to the last sitting EPA administrator in the Obama administration.

He added that it wouldn't be an EPA coin anymore, but a "Pruitt coin".

Pruitt allegedly stayed in the D.C. condo for just $50 per night, far below market rate but was consistently late on the payments when he paid at all. While Jackson took responsibility earlier this week and said Pruitt had no knowledge of what transpired, Chmielewski said Pruitt was fully aware.

It's not the only branded product that Pruitt wants to rid of the EPA imagery.

During his confirmation hearing early past year, Pruitt said he never used a personal email account for official business as Oklahoma state attorney general.

The letter asked that Pruitt provide copies of all documents related to the alleged violations.

For instance, Chiemelewski claims Pruitt used the "guise of security" to have his security detail purchase bulletproof vests and weapons.

Chmielewski is facing his own ethics issue at the EPA, though hardly on the scale of the problems facing Pruitt.

Chmielewski said after months of pressure he was removed from his job after he refused to retroactively sign off when Pruitt's top policy aide, Samantha Dravis, accompanied the administrator in first class on a trans-Atlantic flight back from Morocco. The consent decree was reached between the EPA, Butte, Atlantic Richfield and other agencies on plans to clean mine waste along Silver Bow Creek and other parts of the city.

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