The Washington Post reports that EPA chief of staff Ryan Jackson and Samantha Dravis, a former top Pruitt aide who was the former associate administrator for the EPA’s office of policy, are telling Congressional investigators about how corrupt their boss is, which is “very.”
Per the Post:
The Trump administration appointees described an administrator who sought a salary that topped $200,000 for his wife and accepted help from a subordinate in the job search, requested aid from senior EPA officials in a dispute with a Washington landlord and disregarded concerns about his first-class travel.
The interviews conducted by staffers for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee late last week shed new light on the EPA administrator’s willingness to leverage his position for his personal benefit and to ignore warnings even from allies about potential ethical issues, according to three individuals familiar with the sessions, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the ongoing investigation.
The Post says that Dravis told congressional investigators on Thursday that Pruitt pressured her to call up the Republican Attorneys General Association, a group he led for two years and one which Dravis used to work for, as part of a job search for his wife. (Dravis reportedly told investigators she declined to make the call so as to not violate federal law.)
Dravis’ attorney told the Post that she spoke “as forthrightly and candidly as she could, and she pushed back on both sides when they were either wrong or pushing their agenda.” The EPA declined comment to the Post, and neither the House Oversight Committee nor Jackson revealed anything about their talks.
According to the Post, Pruitt wanted federal employees to help his wife, Marlyn Pruitt, find a job that paid over $200,000. Last month, the Post reported that Pruitt had squeezed Dravis and top donors to try to help his wife find work, and she was eventually, albeit temporarily, hired by the Judicial Crisis Network; the new Post report says that the gig paid less than six figures, and ended earlier this year.
Incredibly, this is not the only reported instance of Pruitt using his job to help his wife get paid—early last month, a FOIA request made by the Sierra Club turned up emails showing that Pruitt had his official scheduler reach out to Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy to try to get his wife a franchise. (She reportedly never finished the application.)
In addition, the new Post report also contains this tidbit about Pruitt being such a cheap motherfucker that he’s had his aides put hotel reservations for himself and his family on their own personal credit cards. And on at least one occasion, he reportedly stiffed at least one aide on paying her back:
According to a current and former EPA official, Pruitt routinely asked his assistants — including then-executive scheduler Sydney Hupp — to put hotel reservations on their personal credit cards rather than his own.
In one instance, according to former deputy chief of staff Kevin Chmielewski, Hupp was stuck with a bill of roughly $600 for a booking she had made for the administrator’s family during the transition. Chmielewski said in an interview last month that he was in Jackson’s office when Hupp approached Pruitt’s chief of staff to explain that the period for transition reimbursements had expired and Pruitt had not covered the bill.
The incident, aspects of which were first reported in the Hill newspaper, prompted Jackson to leave $600 in cash in Hupp’s drawer.
Just a great guy who totally doesn’t deserve to be embarrassed in every public place he shows his face in for the rest of his life.