One would think that, after all the accusations that Hillary lied to Congress about everything in all of creation, they’d be especially sensitive to anybody else lying to them. Especially when it’s easily proven. Trump’s pick to head the EPA, Scott Pruitt, used a private email account for some of his government business during his tenure as Oklahoma’s attorney general. It’s not illegal for him to use private email under Oklahoma law as long as the emails are made publicly available, but they weren’t, and he lied to Congress about it anyway.
Pruitt answered a written questionnaire that asked him whether he used private email. He responded with:
“I use only my official OAG email address and government issued phone to conduct official business.”
He later told the Senate Energy and Public Works Committee that he didn’t know why a personal email address was listed as part of his business addresses. 7,500 pages of emails, presumably from that address, have been released after an Oklahoma judge ruled that Pruitt had been withholding them illegally.
Senate Democrats say this raises serious questions about Pruitt’s credibility, which is already on shaky ground because he was suing the EPA as Oklahoma’s attorney general. One of the concerns about his emails is that he was working closely with fossil fuel companies to resist the government’s efforts to limit carbon emissions – something the fossil fuel industry and all its lackeys hate because it hurts profits.
That’s a serious conflict of interest, and lies about it just compound the whole situation.
Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, said of Pruitt’s credibility:
“Now that he is in charge of protecting clean air and water in every community across the country, the public must decide for themselves whether they can trust Pruitt when he can’t even be honest about his email or his ties to the oil and gas industry.”
Sen. John Barasso, a Wyoming Republican, wouldn’t comment on the matter and other Republicans appear to be silent as well. Why? Likely because they want someone at the EPA who’s willing to render it toothless, if not dismantle it entirely, and also because this reflects extremely badly on them given their insistence that Hillary’s use of private email was the world’s worst crime ever.
Pruitt will probably remain at the head of the EPA even though lying to Congress is perjury. Republicans never want to admit when they’ve screwed up.
Featured image by Aaron P. Bernstein via Getty Images