All great empires must fall. All great heroes must meet their match. All great legacies must fade from life to be inscribed in stone and story for us to remember until the end of time.
Surrounded by courtiers from the lands of oil and coal and seated at the right hand of a benevolent overlord, Lord Pruitt was thought to be untouchable. His routings of the kingdoms of clean air and drinkable water put him on a pedestal few could reach.
But recently, there had been rumblings all throughout the land.
This week, Pruitt scandals broke with the same regularity they have been for months.
We found out that he keeps a sneaky gcal so we don’t find out about his shoulder rubbing with decidedly unholy cardinals and the industry executives he supposedly regulates. We found out that he went to the mat for his beloved wife, seeking only the best for her: a $200,000 job she didn’t deserve. And we found out that a lifetime of loyalty is simply not enough for Pruitt. One misstep, like being forced to tell the truth under oath, and you’re out forever.
But none of this is new for the administrator. He’s been fielding slimy stories of his leaked misdeeds for months with little more than a light slap on the wrist from Trump in between gushing praise of his deregulatory legacy.
That’s why this week felt different. A senior administration official told CNN Thursday that Pruitt was “inching forward to the tipping point” of getting booted from the administration.
As the Washington Post reported, Pruitt was also fresh out of allies. Chief of Staff John Kelly had reportedly made it his personal mission to see Pruitt ousted. The White House counsel’s office disliked him, for obvious reasons, and even Trump administration acolytes like Fox News host Laura Ingraham had had enough. And on top of all of that, according to the Post, one of the many federal investigations launched into Pruitt’s actions as agency head was about to come to fruition — the OMB reportedly found that the $43,000 soundproof phone booth Pruitt had installed was a violation of federal law. The report has not yet been released.
So the ever courageous Trump sent Kelly to do his dirty work and get the resignation while tweeting about it from the safe and cushy confines of Air Force One. He dismissed his beloved EPA Administrator without even speaking to him. And Pruitt responded with a letter of resignation so obsequious, it practically oozes.
This is a good moment to pause and look back upon the soaring vista of charges that were not enough to dethrone the King of Coal, the multitude of scandals Trump found inadequate to outweigh the incalculable havoc Pruitt was wreaking on the planet at his behest.
- a sweetheart deal on a swanky D.C. condo for relative pennies a night
- deploying his aides to secure a White House internship for his daughter
- deploying his aides to secure a Chick-fil-A franchise for his wife
- deploying his aides to secure any other job for his wife when Chick-fil-A didn’t work out — with the prerequisite that it pay at least $200,000
- using EPA resources to secure a used Trump Tower mattress (yeah, still have no idea what that was about, but it skeeves me out)
- insisting on bulletproof vehicles
- TACTICAL PANTS.
- globetrotting on trips that seemingly very little to do with the environment or its protection
- ’round-the-clock security so Pruitt had pals to both prevent the bevy of assassination attempts every low-profile Cabinet member faces and to hang out with at the Rose Bowl
- giving his favorite pet staffers enormous raises even though the White House said no
- using the sirens on his aforementioned bulletproof behemoths to cut through traffic and get his tapenade on at Le Dip
Dearest Scott, Trump would have forgiven you if you shot him in broad daylight on Fifth Avenue, so long as your other hand was dumping toxic paint into the Hudson. You have achieved what none of us thought was possible.
You have plumbed the depths of the misdeeds a person can carry out during one measly year and a half in office so extensively that you got Trump — whose personal ethics allow for stiffing hardworking contractors, using millions of taxpayer dollars to golf as a weekly respite from the stress of his rigorous Fox News viewing schedule, and stacking the White House with his inept family members — to kick you out.
For whipping up such a malodorous stench of corruption that even Trump in nose plugs couldn’t waft it away, the finally dethroned Scott Pruitt is our Duke of the Week.