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EPA inspector general opens new ethics reviews of Scott Pruitt’s scandals

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s inspector general office told Democratic lawmakers it will open a probe of Administrator Scott Pruitt’s controversial housing arrangement with a lobbyist and other matters, according to a letter they circulated on Friday.

“We have received multiple requests from multiple members of Congress, as well as other Office of the Inspector General Hotline complaints, regarding these same and related issues,” Inspector General Arthur Elkins wrote to Democratic Congressmen Ted Lieu (California) and Don Beyer (Virginia).

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 The letter, sent on Wednesday, was released a day after Pruitt faced tough questions regarding a string of recent ethics and spending concerns in nearly six hours of hearings in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The new probe is in response to a number of concerns outlined by the Office of Government Ethics to the EPA’s designated ethics official, who turned the letter over to the inspector general’s office “for action.”

 The concerns include Pruitt’s 2017 housing arrangement in which he paid $50 per night to the wife of a lobbyist for his lodging in Washington, reports of high spending for travel, use of staff and expenditures for enhanced security measures and reassignment of staff who flagged concerns about improper spending.
Elkins said some of the matters will be addressed in ongoing reviews and others will trigger new probes.

There are currently 10 open investigations involving various ethical and spending issues related to Pruitt in the EPA’s inspector general’s office, the White House and Congress.

Reporting by Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Richard Chang and Dan Grebler

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Legal experts point out the giant flaw in Trump’s claims about rooting out Ukraine corruption

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Legal experts are noticing that President Donald Trump wasn't asking for a real investigation of Joe Biden, only one that could provide fodder for the news media.

Witnesses in the impeachment inquiry have testified that Trump wanted Ukrainian president to announce an investigation into Joe Biden and his son Hunter in an interview with CNN, in exchange for congressionally approved military aid or a White House visit.

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Rudy Giuliani: Trump won’t throw me under the bus but I have ‘good insurance’ in case he does

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Rudy Giuliani says he has no doubt that President Trump will remain loyal to him, but he joked that he has "good insurance" just in case things don't turn out as he expects, The Guardian reports.

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Giuliani's lawyer interjected to point out that "he's joking."

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A telling moment from the impeachment hearing suggests Trump has an insurance policy on Mike Pence

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Why don't Republicans just give up and cut Donald Trump loose? That question has been on the minds of most political observers since the beginning of Trump's presidency, and it's only grown more intense in the wake of scandal after scandal after scandal, in which the lying, cheating, grifting, thieving sleazebag who bigoted his way into the White House continues to make fools of everyone who supports and defends him.

This article was originally published at Salon

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