Pruitt wanted to highlight his name on EPA memorabilia

Mr. Peter Abum-Sarkodie

They include public protests, criticism of Pruitt's policies and other activities protected by the First Amendment.

Gowdy also asked Pruitt in the letter to provide documents on a lease for a condo that he rented from Vicki Hart, the wife of a lobbyist who works for companies regulated by the EPA, which has been criticized for the low rate of $50 per day charged to Pruitt when he stayed there.

Pruitt's interest in a makeover of the EPA's branding did not end there.

Speaking at a Capitol news conference, Udall said Pruitt has "misused taxpayer dollars while enhancing his own personal perks", skirted enforcement responsibilities to let polluters off the hook and "subverted scientific processes in a manner we have never seen".

Sources in the report also revealed that Pruitt wanted to change the appearance of the agency's challenge coin - a medallion embossed with the EPA logo.

In a letter to Pruitt, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., who chairs the House Oversight Committee, demanded Pruitt provide more details over both the travel, security and condo lease issues, writing that "The EPA has failed to produce all the documents requested".

The Associated Press reported Friday that EPA has spent about $3 million on Pruitt's security measures, which included flying first-class and using a full-time security detail of 20 armed officers. Federal employees are generally required to fly in coach. The vote comes amid calls by Democrats and a few Republicans for President Donald Trump to replace EPA chief Scott Pruitt, whose tenure has been threatened by damaging ethics disclosures.

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EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox said last week there had been an "unprecedented" amount of death threats against Pruitt and his family.

The internal review said an earlier threat assessment by Pruitt's security team "does not employ sound analysis or articulate relevant "threat specific" information appropriate to draw any resource or level of threat conclusions regarding the protection posture for the administrator".

A Senate vote could come Thursday on the nomination of Andrew Wheeler to serve as EPA's deputy administrator.

To make matters worse, the EPA security staffer who wrote the assessment, Mario Caraballo, was sacked after the Democrats' account of it became public.

In a letter released Monday, David Apol, acting director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, took the unusual step of telling EPA officials that several recent ethics questions deserve further scrutiny.

EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins is conducting at least five investigative audits related to Pruitt, including a probe into questionable spending by his swollen security detail.

Pruitt's situation was amplified Wednesday when the American Federation of Government Employees Council 238, which represents about 8,000 of the EPA's roughly 14,000 employees, joined the boot Pruitt campaign.

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