- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The Environmental Protection Agency did not properly justify spending $3.5 million on round-the-clock security detail for former Administrator Scott Pruitt, an inspector general report released on Tuesday found.

“Failure to properly justify the level of protective services provided to the administrator has allowed costs to increase from $1.6 million to $3.5 million in just 11 months,” the report read.

The audit also pointed out that the legally questionable security detail did not have an approved standard for operation that explained how it determined the necessary level of security for Mr. Pruitt.

More than $100,00 in additional costs were incurred because security officials worked overtime, the report found.

Democrat Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia said the revelations in the report are a direct reflection on President Trump.

“The Pruitt saga illustrates how sorely real oversight is needed as a check on the president, and how the GOP-led Congress has acted as a rubber stamp for the Trump administration’s worst excesses,” he wrote in a statement.

Mr. Beyer was among the Democrats who called for a criminal investigation into the scandals surrounding Mr. Pruitt’s tenure at the EPA.

Mr. Pruitt left his role as head of the EPA in July, amid a myriad of scandals related to misuse of federal resources and conflicts of interest.

Mr. Trump praised Mr. Pruitt when he announced his resignation.

“He’ll go on to great things, and he’s going to have a wonderful life, I hope,” the president said. “But he felt that he did not want to be a distraction for an administration that he has a lot of faith in.”

Tuesday’s report was one of about a dozen investigations into Pruitt’s actions that were started while he was in office, including inquiries by the White House and Congress.

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