The Democrats and their media enablers have been on the warpath against EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt pretty much since the day he was nominated for the post. You’ve no doubt seen the headlines and panel discussions which regularly discuss the “scandal-plagued” cabinet department. But this week, the latest demands from Democrats (eagerly picked up on cable news) for yet another investigation into Pruitt’s activities have truly sunk to a new low.
You probably recall the brouhaha raised over Pruitt’s “housing problem” which was turned into a “scandal” after it was discovered that he managed to get too good of a deal on a room he was renting from friends when he first arrived in Washington. (This may be the first time on record that the media complained about a government official not spending enough money.) That arrangement only lasted until he was ready to bring his family out to the Beltway and then he had to seek a new apartment for all of them. So this week the Democrats called for an investigation into whether or not one of his aides (who is also a friend) helped Pruitt find the new apartment and if that help constituted an unlawful “gift.” (The Hill)
Three Democratic senators want an investigation into whether Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief broke the law when he had a close aide shop for apartments for him.
The demand for a probe comes after Pruitt told a Senate hearing this month that Millan Hupp, his scheduler, conducted the apartment hunt during non-work hours, but Pruitt did not pay her.
Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Tom Carper (D-Del.) argue in a letter Thursday to EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins that Hupp’s apartment hunt may constitute an illegal gift to Pruitt.
Are we actually going to find people who will take this question seriously? As anyone who has ever taken a new job requiring relocation knows, when you arrive in a new town you need to find a place to live and attend to the other necessary arrangements for day-to-day life. The EPA Chief is a busy guy, so if his friend (and aide) knew the ropes and was willing to lend a hand in the hunt for an apartment for Pruitt and his family… so what? Employers always make allowances for such things. Getting that sort of help from a friend is at most a minor inconvenience to them and the aide in question obviously had no objection to helping.
And they want to paint this as an illegal “gift” now? Give me a break. What we’re seeing is simply the next step in a long established pattern. The press and the Democrats (but I repeat myself) have been digging into every crevice and examining every receipt attempting to create a cloud of “scandals” around each member of Donald Trump’s cabinet since day one. And the investigations, nearly always unprompted fishing expeditions, are being done at a level never seen during the Obama administration.
But the Left has had an especially fierce ax to grind with Scott Pruitt right from the start. It’s not tough to imagine why. He’s been one of the most staunch defenders of Trump’s agenda, making him particularly irksome to many in the media. Also, since one of the President’s top priorities was to roll back regulations, a lot of that work took place in the EPA. Pruitt is widely viewed as Trump’s hired gun who is “undermining the Obama legacy” by rolling back burdensome environmental regulations. Many of these same people are also upset that Pruitt changed EPA policy, forbidding the use of “secret science” when considering regulations and demanding transparency.
All of this has led to one media or Democratic investigation after another. You’ll recall when the press turned Pruitt’s trip to the G-7 in Italy into a scandal over how much it cost while ignoring the fact that his predecessor in the Obama administration took the exact same trip at nearly twice the price. But this latest question really takes the cake. If you want to begin looking into illegal gifts, has anyone been keeping tabs on all of the free opposition research and deceptive advertising the Washington Post, the New York Times and MSNBC have been doing for the DNC during the runup to the 2018 and 2020 elections? Those kinds of services don’t come cheap in the private sector and it’s looking more and more like an in-kind contribution to the Democrats at this point.