Jun 4, 2018

Pruitt asked aide to complete personal tasks, find Trump hotel mattress

Scott Pruitt being questioned on Capitol Hil. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's director of scheduling and advance Millan Hupp told congressional investigators that Pruitt asked her to perform personal tasks on his behalf, including purchasing an "old mattress" from the Trump International Hotel, per The Washington Post. Top House Oversight Democrats want the committee to subpoena Pruitt for documents related to his staff use, adding that he must be "held accountable" should Hupp's claims prove true.

The big picture: It's just the latest alleged ethical lapse for Pruitt. Others include spending $43,000 for a private phone booth, enlisting a pricey security detail, and spending taxpayer dollars on first-class travel.

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Trump's clemency spree

Rod Blagojevich in 2010. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

President Trump announced Tuesday that he commuted former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's 14-year prison sentence for extortion, bribery and corruption — as well as issuing full pardons for former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., former NYPD Commissioner Bernie Kerik and financier Michael Milken.

The big picture: The president's clemency spree largely benefitted white-collar criminals convicted of crimes like corruption, gambling fraud and racketeering, undercutting his message of "draining the swamp."

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump's improbable moonshot

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

NASA is unlikely to meet its deadline of sending astronauts to the surface of the Moon by 2024, even with a large influx of funding.

Why it matters: The Artemis mission to send people back to the Moon is the Trump administration's flagship space policy, and its aggressive, politically-motivated timeline is its hallmark.

Go deeperArrow3 hours ago - Science

Justice Department says U.S. attorneys are reviewing Ukraine information

Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd sent a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) Tuesday informing him that the U.S. attorneys for the Eastern District of New York and the Western District of Pennsylvania are reviewing "unsolicited" information from the public related to matters involving Ukraine.

Why it matters: Nadler had requested an explanation for the "intake process" that Attorney General Bill Barr stated had been set up in order to receive information that Rudy Giuliani had obtained about the Bidens in Ukraine.