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Home / US / Scott Pruitt, on Capitol Hill, rejects guilt for ethical failures

Scott Pruitt, on Capitol Hill, rejects guilt for ethical failures



While Democrats who demanded his resignation attempted to force Mr. Pruitt to blame for a variety of ethical missteps, he denied knowledge or responsibility for the actions in question. The Republicans, after briefly chastising Mr Pruitt in their introductory remarks, asked friendly questions that would entitle him to discuss his political proposals.

As the reports on Mr. Pruitt continue to increase, some White House employees have urged Mr. Trump to fire the EPA's boss. Some Republican leaders have called for his resignation, and many of Mr. Pruit's own party have called for investigations into his actions. But analysts following his performance on Thursday said he did well.

Representative Ken Calvert, Republican of California and Chairman of the Subcharge Subcommittee, where Mr. Pruitt testified in the afternoon, called the steward's appearance "very professional."

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Mr. Pruitt at the Household Affairs Subcommittee of the Ministry of the Interior and E. P. A., his second appearance before members of the House on Thursday

Credit
Pete Marovich for the New York Times

When asked if Mr. Pruitt should resign, he said, "No."

Ultimately, the only opinion that matters is Mr. Pritt's fate, that of the President.

I think his efforts are well received by the president, "Maisano said," he has more to explain, but it was a good attempt to repair fences, there were no fatal blows. "

Mr. Pruitt is now the subject of 10 federal investigations, including questions about the illegal purchase of a secure phone booth from his office, his lease with the wife of an energy lobbyist, and the allegation that he is E.P.A. Employees who questioned his actions.

The Democrats in the committee questioned him sharply about the reports of his ethical misconduct and urged Mr Pruitt to withdraw his environmental legislation, in particular a new policy that was proposed this week that would restrict EPAs. s Use of scientific research in the development of new health and environmental rules. Scientists have complained about the proposed rule and said it would severely curtail the agency's use of rigorous science.

"Administrator Pruitt has brought secrecy, conflicts of interest and scandals to E.P.A.," said Frank Pallone Jr. MP from New Jersey, the leading Democrat of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where Mr. Pruitt testified on Thursday morning. "They are unable to hold public office and violate public trust," he said. "Every clue we have is that you should really resign."

Greg Walden, Republican of Oregon and Chairman of the House Energy Committee, received light criticism before continuing to praise Mr. Pruitt for his efforts. "I am concerned that good progress made in politics will be undermined by allegations about the Agency's management and use of its resources," he said. "These problems are too persistent to be ignored."

Conservative legislators from fossil fuel producing states who have long relied on the rollback of E.P.A. Www.mjfriendship.de/de/index.php?op…39&Itemid=32 President David B. McKinley, a West Virginia Republican, sympathetically told Mr Pruitt that the attacks on him were "an echo of McCarthyism. "

In many ways, the past 14 months have been from Mr. Pruitt's term to that point.

As the Attorney General of Oklahoma, he made a name for himself by aggressively fighting the agency he now heads. Mr. Pruit's affirmation was fiercely opposed by Democrats, environmentalists and even by E.P.A. Employees. Since taking over the management of the agency, Mr. Pruitt has been working to help E.P.A. Financing, downsizing and restraining the ability to develop new rules on fossil fuel pollution.

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The behavior that put Scott Pruitt at the center of federal research

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency is close to a dozen federal investigations into his practices. We divide the allegations into categories.



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No E.P.A. Director in the story has reached Mr. Pruitt's fame. Since the founding of the agency, the administrators have been members of the second layer of Washington. But Mr. Pruit's antagonism to climate research has made him a nationally prominent and divisive figure.

Critics said that more than the ethical and spending issues are the real damage to the E.P.A. Mr Pruitt has systematically weakened the Agency's ability to protect the environment and public health. While Pruit's appearance at Thursday's hearings may break or break his future within the Trump administration, many said his legacy was already set.

"It was simply a blatant, shameful series of calculated decisions to dismantle the most successful domestic enterprise" William K. Reilly, who headed the EPA under first president George Bush, said of Pruitts leadership. "It's really a national tragedy," he said.

At the Thursday morning hearing, Texas-based MP Joe Barton, who has long denied the overwhelming evidence of human impacts on climate change, offered compassion. "Mr. Pruitt, you are not the first victim of Washington politics," he said.

The Democrats tried in vain to locate Mr. Pruitt in questions about his expenses and force him to accept blame for some of the actions now being investigated.

The deputy Tony Cárdenas, a Californian Democrat, asked for Prurts soundproof booth, installed in his EPA office at a cost of $ 43,000. The Government Responsibility Office has decided that the issues break the law.

"I was unaware of the $ 43,000 approval," Mr. Pruitt told him, "and if I had known of it, Congressman, I would not have approved it."

Mr. Cárdenas replied, "If someone spends $ 43,000 in my office, I would know about it."

Representative Diana DeGette, a Colorado Democrat, has asked questions about Mr. Pruit's involvement in real estate transactions in Oklahoma. The New York Times refers to the buyer of his home as the "Shell Company."

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Protesters interrupted the testimony of Mr. Pruitt at the morning hearing.

Credit
Pete Marovich for The New York Times

"It's not a shell company," he said quickly, adding that such financial structures were often used to buy property in Oklahoma.

She then asked Mr. Pruitt if he had paid taxes on the rent he received. He said the problem had been handed over to an accountant.

"I'm not doing this to harass you, I'm doing that as an elected official," said Miss DeGette as she finished her questions. "Everything we do has to meet the highest ethical standards."

Representative Paul Tonko, who sits on the Subcommittee on the Environment for Democrats in the House of Commons on Energy, has urged Mr Pruitt to claim that he does not know that E.P.A. He had used an opaque piece of legislation to earn high donations from the political appointees without accepting the approval of the White House. Mr. Pruitt said the decision was made by his chief of staff Ryan Jackson.

"Have you authorized Mr. Jackson to sign these documents for you?" Tonko asked.

"I was not aware of the crowd and I was not aware of the circumvention that was going on," replied Mr. Pruitt.

Even some Republicans criticized Mr. Pruitt for repeatedly accusing his associates.

"If you say, give me a phone booth, and your staff will do it, you should say I'm to blame," said Rep. John Shimkus, Republican of Illinois, chair of the House Energy Subcommittee, with reporters morning hearing. "It's never good to blame your employees, or at least behind closed doors."

And Representative Anna G. Eshoo, a Californian Democrat, took her opportunity to try and interrogate Mr. Pruitt bring to accept guilt. "They have a solid record of violation of ethics rules from the state level to the federal government," she told Mr Pruitt. "I think it's an embarrassment." And then she asked, "Do you have any regrets, yes or no?"

Sir. Pruitt replied, "I think there are changes that I have already made, and I made a change from first class to bus travel." Ms. Eshoo returned her request for a yes-or-no answer and asked Mr. Pruitt whether he would repay something to the government. He made a long answer, but she interrupted him.

"With respect, I can be chosen, but I'm not an idiot," she said. "This is not a Dodge Question Day."

Correction: April 26, 2018

An earlier version of this story gave Representative John Shimkus the wrong home state, representing Illinois, not Pennsylvania.

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