Scott Pruitt's $43000 'privacy booth' violated spending laws, watchdog finds

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Trump's EPA ended up violating two laws in the process, according to a new report by the US Government Accountability Office that was obtained by BuzzFeed News.

The EPA violated the law when it approved the phone booth past year for Pruitt's office, the Government Accountability Office, a congressional watchdog, said earlier on Monday.

EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman said the agency is "addressing GAO's concern, with regard to congressional notification about this expense, and will be sending Congress the necessary information this week".

It also states, "We conclude that EPA violated section 710 when it obligated $43,238.68 for the installation of a soundproof privacy booth without providing advance notice to the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate". It is among several unusual security precautions taken by Pruitt that are now under scrutiny, like his use frequent use of first-class flights to avoid unpleasant interactions with other travelers.

Perrotta has also attracted attention due to Pruitt's extensive security measures and an associate of his securing an EPA contract to sweep the administrator's office for surveillance bugs.

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The GAO had been asked to investigate the matter by Democratic lawmakers including U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Tom Udall.

"It is critical that EPA and all federal agencies comply with notification requirements to Congress before spending taxpayer dollars", he said. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, called on the EPA to "give a full public accounting of this expenditure and explain why the agency thinks it was complying with the law".

Last month, Pruitt was scrutinized after travel documents released showed the EPA spent close to $90,000 to send him and his staff to Italy for one day for the G7 environmental summit. The White House is reviewing Mr. Pruitt's activities, and the Office of Government Ethics has urged the EPA to investigate possible.

"So the notion that I've got to fly first class because I don't want people to be mean to me, you need to go into another line of work if you don't want people to be mean to you", Gowdy said.

That buttresses Jackson's assertion last week that he, not Pruitt, was responsible for the raises - and that the EPA administrator had no knowledge of the amount of the increases nor the method by which they came about. "Like maybe a monk".

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