Scott Pruitt’s nomination to the Environmental Protection Agency was not an easy one. While serving as Oklahoma Attorney General, Scott Pruitt (rightly) criticized the EPA for overstepping the bounds of its power, and left-leaning organizations were quick to point out that he was being put in charge of an organization that he sued while representing the state of Oklahoma. 447 former EPA employees even went so far as to pen a petition against his nomination and confirmation as head of the EPA, angry that someone who sued the agency in the past would be put in charge of it. Nevertheless, he persisted, and took on the monumental task of ensuring that the EPA doesn’t consistently overstep its boundaries.
However, in his role as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, many unhinged leftists have made threats against his life and against him in general. In recognition of the massive volume of threats that the left continues to make against Administrator Pruitt, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Protective Service Detail hired an outside agency to assist in protecting Pruitt.
The agency hired an outside organization, a private security firm, which was paid $3,000 to sweep Scott Pruitt’s office for surveillance devices covert or illegal in nature, a process which involves searching for devices inside the office that are transmitting a signal. As an additional measure, the EPA spent $6,000 on installing biometric locks to Scott Pruitt’s office, both for security and to ensure that no one can enter without Pruitt’s knowledge.
According to EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox, “Administrator Pruitt has received an unprecedented amount of threats against him…there is nothing nefarious about security decisions made by EPA’s Protective Service Detail.” Wilcox goes on to say that a previous Administrator who served under Obama, Lisa Jackson, had also paid an outside company to perform a similar sweep of her office.
Even mainstream media outlets were unable to make the case that this was an outrageous expenditure of money for the head of the EPA. During a discussion on ABC News on Thursday, December 21, ABC News law enforcement consultant Brad Garrett said “it’s not unreasonable to get your office swept if you have a job like his job.”
The EPA, as with almost every other federal agency, has its own law enforcement office, which consists of federal agents who perform criminal investigations and serve to protect the administrator of the organization. The Inspector General’s Office also investigates threats made against the EPA’s top executive and its other employees. Both offices inside the EPA state that they’ve seen a shocking increase in the number of cases investigated concerning threats made against the head of the EPA.
Patrick Sullivan, the EPA Assistant Inspector General for investigations, told reporters that 32 percent of investigations this year concerning threats were investigations of threats made against Scott Pruitt. Sullivan went on to say that some of the threats were very personal, very ugly threats, and that by comparison, only 9 percent of threats investigated in 2016 were directed at the former administrator of the EPA, Gina McCarthy.
Of course, with greater risk of violence, Administrator Scott Pruitt’s security team is becoming more expensive as well, a fact supported by documents received through a Freedom of Information Act request. The request revealed that during his first three months as Administrator of the EPA, Scott Pruitt’s security detail cost more than $830,000, while during the same time period the security details for Administrators McCarthy and Jackson cost around $465,000 and $423,000, almost half as much.
A former law enforcement agent for the EPA, Michael Hubbard, commented on the absurdity of the situation, saying that administrators in the past received threats, but that he hadn’t seen the same level of security being necessary in the past. He also said that “while it’s not exorbitant it’s a total waste of a number of thousands of dollars while you’re cutting back the services of this agency.”
It is easy to understand why the Environmental Protection Agency might receive the occasional threat; they are generally disliked by many U.S. citizens, and they have the power to do everything from shutting down job sites to telling individuals that they can’t develop land due to ‘endangered’ species that may live on it.
However, the threats being consistently and constantly made against Scott Pruitt are above and beyond the norm for the agency. Likely these threats have little to do with EPA actions, and more to do with the general derangement that is spreading throughout the left in the United States since the election of President Donald Trump.
It is somewhat humorous to see the rise of such derangement and the liberal response to it, especially due to the smug statements many on the left were making on the day of the election that they would accept the outcome, whatever it was, and that they expected Republicans would be violent when they lost.
Making credible threats of violence against federal agencies is not just idiotic, it’s also undermining the ability of the EPA to spend money doing what liberals WANT it to do; every dollar that must be spent on keeping Pruitt safe from lunatics is a dollar less going to the mission of the agency. Maybe liberals should keep that in mind before making threats against government officials they don’t like.