- Democrats are requesting that the FBI investigate EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt over reports that he tried to use taxpayer resources for his own financial gain.
- Pruit has been under fire for months, as multiple scandals have piled up regarding abuses of power and lavish spending.
- This week, reports have suggested he tried to secure a Chick-fil-A franchise for his wife.
WASHINGTON – Democratic lawmakers are requesting that FBI Director Christopher Wray and acting Assistant Attorney General John Cronan open an investigation into Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, after a series of scandals showing a desire to boost his personal finances on the taxpayer dime.
In a letter obtained by Business Insider, Virginia Rep. Don Beyer wrote to Wray that Pruitt “has used his public office and official, taxpayer-funded resources for the personal gain of himself and his family, in violation of federal law.”
The letter outlines several allegations against Pruitt, including an attempt to secure a Chick-fil-A franchise for his wife, securing a job for his wife with a nonprofit group for a conference at which he spoke, and the use of a $US50-per-night condo in Washington rented from the wife of a lobbyist for industries regulated by the EPA.
“At the very least, we know that federal ethics laws bar public officials from using their position or staff for private gain. Administrator Pruitt has certainly done just that,” the letter adds. “Further, his actions related to his wife’s employment and the quid-pro-quo condo situation with industry lobbyists may have crossed a line into criminal conduct punishable by fines or even by time in prison.”
“We formally request that the FBI open an investigation into Administrator Scott Pruitt’s conduct to assess whether he broke the law, including criminal statutes prohibiting public corruption,” the letter concludes.
A spokesperson for the EPA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Pruitt has been the subject of several scandals as of late. While lesser allegations and improprieties have resulted in cabinet-level firings during President Donald Trump’s administration, Pruitt has managed to stay in office.
Pruitt is undertaking massive deregulations at the EPA, for which Republicans and the Trump administration have credited him and used as a reason for keeping him on board.
“Well, Scott Pruitt is doing a great job within the walls of the EPA,” Trump told reporters at the White House Friday morning. “I mean, we’re setting records. Outside, he’s being attacked very viciously by the press. I’m not saying that he’s blameless, but we’ll see what happens.”
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