Rep. Cummings Accuses EPA's Pruitt of Ignoring FOIA Requests

Posted: Jun 11, 2018 5:30 PM
Rep. Cummings Accuses EPA's Pruitt of Ignoring FOIA Requests

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) wrote a letter to EPA administrator Scott Pruitt Monday, demanding to know why he is slowing down the FOIA  about his activities and behavior at the agency. For the sake of transparency, Pruitt should stop obstructing the application process.

Of course, Cummings did not make the request without referencing a few of Pruitt's recent scandals. For one, the EPA chief was accused of scoring a couple cushy jobs for two of his friends. He told Fox News's Ed Henry, rather tersely, that he was not aware of the promotions, which led to other questions about his competency.

Pruitt was repeatedly grilled about his ethics at a House Environment Subcommittee hearing about the pay raises, in addition to his exorbitant travel fees and condo deals.

Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) said the reports prove Pruitt is "unfit to hold public office and undeserving of the public trust" and he is an "embarrassment to President Trump."

A handful of Republicans even wanted Pruitt to resign in the midst of the unflattering headlines.

The Sierra Club, one of the groups which has sent several FOIA requests about Pruitt's "scandalous and corrupt" behavior, applauded Cummings for sending the letter.

"Scott Pruitt will do everything possible to operate in the shadows because every time his veil of secrecy is pulled back, we find more reasons he should resign," Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said in a press release. "Documents obtained by the Sierra Club's FOIA litigation have revealed even more about Pruitt's unethical and potentially illegal behavior, so it’s no wonder he'd try and obstruct the process. It’s essential that the EPA be completely transparent and forthright when it’s comes to releasing public information under FOIA.” 

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In his defense, Pruitt said at last month's hearing that he has "nothing to hide" as to how he's run the agency. Many of the reports about him have been "half truths" and "twisted" and are coming from sources who "want to derail the president's agenda."