EPA documents detail threats against Pruitt

EPA documents detail threats against Pruitt
© Greg Nash

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reportedly had a total of 33 threat investigations ongoing as of mid-March, including 10 involving Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOvernight Energy: EPA declines to write new rule for toxic spills | Senate blocks move to stop Obama water rule | EPA bought 'tactical' pants and polos Grassley wants to subpoena Comey, Lynch after critical IG report Senate blocks bid to stop Obama water rule MORE, who has used safety concerns to justify his use of first-class travel and heightened security. 

The New York Times reported Monday that the agency received 16 threats during fiscal 2017 targeted at Pruitt, who has faced sharp criticism over his housing and travel expenses.

The newspaper published the EPA’s response to a Freedom of Information Act request about threats against Pruitt. The documents show that the agency received 47 threats in fiscal 2015 and 43 in fiscal 2016.

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In fiscal 2017, which lasted from Oct. 1, 2016, through Sept. 30, 2017, the EPA received 50 threats. 

Of those, 16 were aimed at Pruitt, three were aimed at his predecessor, Gina McCarthyRegina (Gina) McCarthyEPA says it abandoned plan for office in Pruitt’s hometown Overnight Energy: Pruitt blames staff for controversies | Ex-Obama official to head new Harvard climate center | Electric vehicles on road expected to triple Ex-Obama EPA chief to lead new center for climate change at Harvard MORE, one was targeted at both individuals, and 30 were intended for other employees or officials.

The EPA documents include 14 threats made against Pruitt and his family that the agency’s inspector general has investigated. Six of the complaints are redacted, and most of the threats did not result in charges.

In one instance, someone wrote a postcard urging Pruitt to “Get out while you still can, Scott, you are evil incarnate you ignorant f---.”

In another case, someone emailed Sen. James LankfordJames Paul LankfordSenate panel advances three spending bills GOP senators call for probe of federal grants on climate change Hillicon Valley: Verizon, AT&T call off data partnerships after pressure | Tech speaks out against Trump family separation policy | T-Mobile, Sprint make case for B merger MORE (R-Okla.) and threatened to assassinate Pruitt, President TrumpDonald John TrumpCNN analyst Kirsten Powers: Melania's jacket should read 'Let them eat cake' CNN's Cuomo confronts Lewandowski over 'womp womp' remark Sessions says FBI agent Peter Strzok no longer has his security clearance MORE and Vice President Pence.

Pruitt has come under intense scrutiny in recent months amid a slew of ethics controversies.

Reports in recent months have revealed that Pruitt racked up millions of dollars worth of travel and security expenses, including reportedly bringing his detail to Disneyland and the Rose Bowl. Pruitt justified his first-class travel by saying it was based on security precautions.

He has also come under fire for renting a Capitol Hill condo from the wife of an energy lobbyist for $50 each day he stayed there, and constructing a $43,000 soundproof booth in his office.

During testimony on Capitol Hill last month, Pruitt said those controversies were largely matters handled by his staff or distractions from his agency's efforts to carry out Trump's agenda.

While dozens of Democrats have called for Pruitt to resign, Trump and some Republicans have defended Pruitt and praised him for cutting regulations.