Out of all the scandals currently afflicting the Donald J. Trump administration, the investigation into Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt has taken a somewhat of a backseat to the attention-commanding spectacle of the President of the United States clashing with a former Director of the FBI over whether or not he colluded with agents of a foreign power to tilt the election in his favor.
But Pruitt’s outrageous abuse of his personal power and our taxpayer dollars is coming back to haunt him nonetheless. The Government Accountability Office announced today in a letter to Congress that they have determined Pruitt violated federal law with his ridiculous purchase of a $43,000 soundproof booth for his office.
The Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act decrees that any office redecoration above $5,000 must be approved by Congress. Since Pruitt’s agency went along with it anyway, they also violated the Antideficiency Act, which keeps federal agencies from spending money they haven’t been appropriated.
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Unsurprisingly, the GAO found “no need” for Pruitt to have a $43,000 soundproof booth for his office at the EPA. Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) who demanded the investigation into Pruitt’s exorbitant spending, took to Twitter to rake the greedy politician over the coals:
This is part of a pattern of abuse of power, ethics violations & disrespect for the rule of law by @EPAScottPruitt.
Americans deserve better than the culture of corruption, cronyism & incompetence that is pervasive under Pruitt & throughout @realDonaldTrump's administration.
— Rep. Betty McCollum (@BettyMcCollum04) April 16, 2018
Ever since taking office, Pruitt has been spending left and right, using our taxpayer dollars to fuel his tastes for luxury with first-class travel on private jets and humoring his paranoid delusions with things like an enormous security team and a bulletproof desk.
It is absolutely sickening to see our public officials treating our government like their own personal bank account; if Pruitt is willing to do all his grifting in the open with such a stunning disregard for oversight, one shudders to think at what’s happening behind the scenes.