Do I hear banjo music?

There's something WRONG with Scott Pruitt! Who in the world thinks, "I need to find me a used mattress! But not just any old one with sweat and spunk from a few people on it. Gotta git me ALL THE FLUIDS! I know, I'll hit up the Trump Hotel and see if they can hook me up with some of that high-end pillow-top comfort, saturated with the excretions of a thousand people. Yeehaw!"

Oh, we wish we were kidding! Because after Donald Trump refused the EPA Administrator's request for a pair of used Trump underpanties to sniff ALLEGEDLY, Scott Pruitt went looking for other ways to bury his nose in that warm, orange Trumpfunk. Only, he's a lazy, grifty sumbitch, so naturally he got his assistant to do it for him.

And who pays his assistant's salary? YOU DO. But at least Millan Hupp, Pruitt's buddy from Oklahoma, is back down to her normal $86,460 -- after being hired at $66k and then getting an immediate bump, but before Pruitt dipped into clean water funds to DOUBLE her original salary, which they took away after the story hit the papers. SAD.

Hupp's name is back in the news today because Rep. Elijah Cummings sent a friendly letter to his best buddy Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House Oversight Committee. Cummings would like Gowdy to subpoena the EPA for records of all the personal tasks Hupp did for Scott Pruitt. Including soliciting the Trump Hotel for mattresses, as Hupp testified on May 18 to the committee.

Yes, that really must have been an odd conversation! But more to the point, it is illegal for federal employees to have their subordinates do personal jobs for them. Because, even if the employee was't coerced, it's considered a gift of her time. See, 5 CFR 2635.203(b)

Gift includes any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, forbearance, or other item having monetary value. It includes services as well as gifts of training, transportation, local travel, lodgings and meals, whether provided in-kind, by purchase of a ticket, payment in advance, or reimbursement after the expense has been incurred. [Emphasis added.]

So Pruitt can't order Hupp to find him an apartment. He can't have her book his travel. And he sure as hell can't dispatch her on a search for the finest hooker-pee mattress the Trump Hotel has to offer. (Yes, it's the Trump Hotel in the Old Post Office building, the one at the center of the Emoluments Clause cases. Of course it is!)

Hupp testified to the committee that she spent work hours looking for a new apartment for Pruitt once that lobbyist got tired of renting him the $50 room and watching the pizza boxes pile up in the kitchen. But we are under no illusion that Trey Gowdy gives a rat's ass about Pruitt stealing government services. He's barely batted an eye at the millions of dollars in bogus security expenses, the no-show employees, the undisclosed relationships with lobbyists, the hundreds of thousands of dollars in first-class travel, the wrongful termination of political appointees, the multiple ethics violations -- Republicans DGAF about corruption.

So we will content ourselves with wondering why exactly Pruitt felt such an urgent need to purchase a used Trump mattress. Does he rush home after a long day's grifting and peel off his clothes to roll around nekkid on the bare pillow-top, covering himself the essence of Trump guests past? It would be unreasonable not to speculate!


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[Cummings Letter / WaPo]

Five Dollar Feminist

Your FDF lives in Baltimore under an assumed identity as an upstanding member of the PTA. Shhh, don't tell anyone she makes swears on the internet!

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