For as long as we've known that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Scott Pruitt has a personal security detail of over two dozen agents, some of whom he reassigned from environmental enforcement to himself, the official excuse offered by Pruitt and the agency is that the heightened security was a response to death threats.
That's definitely not true.
We know that's not true because the EPA's Inspector General Arthur Elkins says Pruitt's detail joined him on his very first day in office before he could have possibly received any threats. And that's not all.
“EPA’s Protective Service Detail began providing 24/7 coverage of the Administrator the first day he arrived,” Inspector General Arthur Elkins wrote in response to inquiries from Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.) about what threats prompted Pruitt’s nonstop security, which has cost in excess of $3 million. “The decision was made by the Office of Criminal Enforcement, Forensics and Training after being informed that Mr. Pruitt requested 24/7 protection once he was confirmed as Administrator.”
The inspector general’s office, which investigates threats made against any EPA employee, “played no role in this decision,” Elkins added.
Pruitt's detail joined him on day one and the office responsible for investigating threats wasn't involved in it.
Previous reporting tells us there were no credible threats to Pruitt in any case. Buzzfeed News filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request several months ago and the EPA had no record of credible threats to give them. The only records the agency had was a repository of angry tweets and comments that didn't amount to actionable threats.
I think Pruitt is a diva who just likes to be chauffeured by a platoon of armed guards. It makes him feel more important than he really is.
Scott Pruitt headed to the corner store pic.twitter.com/Nb3teLqDiv
— YS (@NYinLA2121) April 28, 2018