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EPA chief Pruitt's $43000 soundproof booth violated law -US GAO

EPA chief Pruitt's $43000 soundproof booth violated law -US GAO

GAO determined that EPA's purchase of the booth violated federal law prohibiting agencies from spending more than $5,000 to make improvements to the offices of presidential appointees without informing Congress.

Also last week, fellow Republican Trey Gowdy, head of the oversight committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, asked Pruitt for more documents for his probe into the administrator's first class air travel and leasing of a room in a Washington, D.C. condo for $50 for nights he was there.

The congressional notification requirement does not carry a penalty for the agency. The remaining expenses included: "Concrete Floor Leveling" ($3,470); "Drop Ceiling Installation" ($3,360.97) "Prep and Wall Painting" ($3,350); "Removal of CCTV Equipment" ($7,978); and "Infrastructure Cabling and Wiring" ($509.71).

The E.P.A. said the secure phone booth was necessary "to make and receive phone calls and to discuss sensitive information, including classified telephone calls up to the top secret level". The letter also requests interviews with five EPA officials.

The GAO's review was requested by several key Democratic lawmakers, led by Delaware Sen.

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A former senior aide to Pruitt has detailed what he calls a long list of wasteful spending and unethical behavior on behalf of Pruitt to congressional investigators, according to a letter signed Thursday by Democrats in both houses of Congress.

But on Monday Barrasso said in a statement after the GAO's decision that Pruitt's agency must give a "full public accounting" on the spending on the booth and explain why the agency thinks it was complying with the law.

"There are secure conversations that need to be take place at times", he told members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

"The GAO report underscores that Scott Pruitt shouldn't be trusted with a child's piggy bank, much less with access to the federal treasury", said Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group.

Speaking of 2016: Administrator Pruitt would appear to be exactly the kind of person Trump campaigned on ridding Washington of.