EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and his aides have kept “secret” calendars and schedules to overtly hide controversial meetings or calls with industry representatives and others, according to a former EPA official who is expected to soon testify before Congress. A review of EPA documents by CNN found discrepancies between Pruitt’s official calendar and other records.
EPA staffers met routinely in Pruitt’s office to “scrub,” alter or remove from Pruitt’s official calendar numerous records because they might “look bad,” according to Kevin Chmielewski, Pruitt’s former deputy chief of staff for operations, who attended the meetings.
Chmielewski said that some interactions were intentionally removed from Pruitt’s calendar after they occurred, such as meetings in June 2017 between Pruitt and Cardinal George Pell, who was charged weeks later with multiple historical charges of sexual offenses. Pell has pleaded not guilty.