Sens. Tom Carper, D-Delaware; Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island; Reps. Elijah E. Cummings, D-Maryland; Gerry Connolly, D-Virginia; and Don Beyer, D-Virginia, sent a letter to oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina, transmitting new documents that they have obtained regarding the security sweep of Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt’s office performed prior to construction.
“Documents provided to us from within EPA indicate that as of March 2017, the administrator’s office was not cleared for classified communications. The phone booth, which was installed months later, appears to be a ‘privacy booth’ installed by a vendor that describes itself as a ‘manufacturer and distributor of acoustical products’ whose mission is ‘to solve sound and noise control problems to improve every environment of your life.’ Even if the phone booth itself is authorized to receive top secret communications, that would mean classified information is being received in an otherwise not-secured location, preventing the administrator from discussing it with any other cleared person. EPA already has two Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities (known as ‘SCIFs’) in its Washington, D.C., headquarters, which do not suffer from this infirmity,” the lawmakers wrote.
“In addition, we are providing unclassified but non-public documents that also cast doubt on EPA’s spending on enhanced security measures and the process used for obtaining them. Sens. Carper and Whitehouse have previously written to EPA with concerns that Pasquale ‘Nino’ Perrotta, the Acting Special Agent in Charge of Administrator Pruitt’s security detail, improperly directed a contract to his business partner Edwin Steinmetz…These new documents raise serious questions about EPA’s security expenditures. They also raise questions about the role Mr. Perrotta played selecting Mr. Steinmetz for a security sweep, particularly after being advised by EPA officials that such sweeps are governed by National Security Council regulations,” the letter continued.
“Given the latest developments and these new documents, we believe these and related matters are ripe for additional document requests to EPA and that Administrator Pruitt should testify about all of these matters immediately,” the Democrats concluded.
The full text of the letter is available at bit.ly/2KarTli.