The head of President Trump's Environmental Protection Agency is under investigation for purchasing a sound-proof booth to use for making phone calls in his office. This marks at least the third inquiry Scott Pruitt has faced since taking office.
Pruitt spent nearly $25,000 on the custom-made privacy booth. He told a congressional oversight committee last week the purchase was justified because he needs a secure phone line to communicate with the White House. None of Pruitt's predecessors used a similar setup.
Pruitt has claimed the booth functions as a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, known as a SCIF, which are secure rooms for handing or storing classified data. But according to former EPA officials, Pruitt's claim makes little sense.
There was already a SCIF at EPA headquarters in Washington where officials with the appropriate levels of security clearance can go to access classified information.
Other issues plaguing Pruitt include:
The inspector general is also looking into whether Pruitt has violated federal rules by making frequent trips that include weekend layovers at his home in Oklahoma and by urging members of the National Mining Association to tell Trump to withdraw from the Paris climate deal. Critics said Pruitt's remarks at the pro-coal group's April meeting violated anti-lobbying laws covering Cabinet officials.