Scott Pruitt

The left's new EPA problem: Andrew Wheeler

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The EPA's plan to weaken vehicle standards underscores a broader problem facing Democrats and their environmental allies: They have little leverage against Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, the man now leading the agency, compared to his predecessor.

Between the lines: Scott Pruitt attracted massive press attention, but that was largely thanks to his big ethical problems and the bizarre trappings of the scandals. Now, Wheeler is advancing a very similar agenda — but without the heavy ethical baggage.

Midterm payback: How Democrats will torment Trump

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

At the end of last week, one of Washington’s most battle-hardened and sought-after lawyers forecast an ominous future for the Trump administration. We thought the lawyer's analysis was worth reproducing in full as it echoes what we're hearing from other attorneys in close touch with Trump's White House.

The big picture: "The Pruitt situation should be a warning sign to the administration about what will happen if the Democrats take the House."