At Vox, Umair Irfan sums up the Scott Pruitt news:
A series of leaks this week has triggered a tsunami of damning revelations about Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt.Trump denied knowing that his lawyer had paid off Stormy Daniels. Jennifer Rubin at WP:
There was news of what appear to be major improprieties: his too-good-to-be-true condo deal from a lobbyist friend, his circumvention of the White House to get two aides substantial pay raises, and his demotion of staff who questioned him.
And then there were the extremely telling accompanying details: that Pruitt fell behind on his suspiciously low rent. That he replaced the head of his security team when the official hesitated to use lights and sirens in Pruitt’s motorcade to speed ahead of traffic when he was late to events, like dinner at Le Diplomate, a French restaurant in Washington, DC. That one of the aides who got a pay bump was helping Pruitt find housing while on the clock, a violation of federal rules.
Now three House Republicans have called for Pruitt’s resignation and environmental groups have launched a campaign to Boot Pruitt out of office.
Norman Eisen, an ethics guru and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, reacted to the news by cautioning that Trump could be lying about his lack of knowledge. “It has to be taken with a large grain of salt because of his history of lying — over 2000 times in his first year in office alone according to the Post.” If true, however, Eisen agreed that “it strengthens the case to throw out the hush agreement.” He added that “Trump’s statement also makes things much worse for his lawyer, Mr. Cohen. Legal ethics rules prohibit settling disputes without informing your client, and lending or giving your client large sums of money to fund such settlements. An investigation by the New York state bar of Cohen just became a lot more likely.” Finally, Eisen concluded that “Trump’s statement, if true, also removes the less serious campaign-finance violation, that Trump himself funded this contribution to his campaign, in favor of a far more serious one: that Cohen gave the campaign an in-kind contribution of $130,000.”