Whether Scott Pruitt resigned or was forced out, he had repeatedly shown himself unworthy of the office and he had to go. Pruitt’s tenure has been a long, unbroken string of ethical lapses, maladministration, and relentless attacks on the environment he was charged with protecting. A cascade of investigations into his abuse of taxpayer funds, hiding his schedule, sweetheart apartment lease deals, and first-class flights made a mockery of public service. This partial litany of his scandals — unearthed by environmental groups, watchdogs, and journalists — speak for themselves, but he is hardly alone among President Trump’s appointees.
Those in Congress who refused to hold him accountable are complicit in his repeated abuses of office. They have abdicated their job to hold cabinet members and other appointees accountable and fulfill their oversight responsibilities. The pressure should not relent on the new acting Administrator, Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist.
We all owe a debt to those who continue to unearth scandal after scandal in the Trump administration. But Congress owes the American people an apology for abrogating its responsibility to provide oversight. It is long past time for Congress to act to check the abuses of this administration.