By Valerie Volcovici
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Republican head of the U.S. Home of Representatives oversight committee sought particulars on Wednesday on how Environmental Safety Company chief Scott Pruitt obtained clearance to take quite a few first class-flights revealed in lately launched journey information.
Trey Gowdy, who led a high-profile investigation right into a 2012 assault on a diplomatic compound in Benghazi throughout former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s tenure, despatched a letter to Pruitt questioning whether or not the administrator adopted federal laws relating to official journey.
The letter comes a day after Home Democrats despatched an analogous letter requesting particulars of Pruitt’s first- and business-class journey and the method for requesting permission for every premium flight.
Gowdy questioned a press release that EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox had made to the media final week that Pruitt had a “blanket waiver” enabling him to fly firstclass, which he later amended.
“Clearly, federal laws prohibit a blanket waiver to fly firstclass besides to accommodate disabilities or particular wants,” the letter mentioned, including that Pruitt must get hold of a waiver for every flight.
Complaints about journey preparations by Pruitt and different Trump administration cupboard members re-emerged final week. Final 12 months, Well being and Human Providers Secretary Tom Worth resigned after studies that he used personal jets for routine journey.
The Washington Submit had reported that he spent over $100,000 in taxpayer cash for premium journey, based mostly on information obtained by the Environmental Integrity Mission.
Gowdy requested the EPA to supply the oversight committee a log and particulars of every flight taken between Feb. 17, 2017 and Feb. 18, 2018, info on whether or not Pruitt obtained a waiver to buy a firstclass or enterprise class ticket and the price of tickets for every EPA worker touring.
That watchdog group on Friday obtained new journey information, shared with media, exhibiting Pruitt and EPA staff spent upwards of $150,000 on premium business and chartered flights from March to August 2017.
Gowdy mentioned he desires solutions from Pruitt on the journey questions by 5 p.m. EST on March 6.
(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici; Enhancing by James Dalgleish)