Environmental Protection Agency whistleblower Kevin Chmielewski has a long history of run-ins with law enforcement, as well as other red flags in his background check, according to legal experts, The Washington Free Beacon reported on Monday.
Chmielewski said he was fired for taking issue with excessive first-class and other travel and office spending by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, and his complaints formed the basis of a letter several Democrats sent to President Donald Trump last month citing “grave concerns” about Pruitt’s spending.
But several administration officials said Chmielewski was forced out of the EPA over other issues, including that his supervisors didn’t know where he was numerous times when he was supposed to be at work on advance trips.
The White House’s Presidential Personnel Office also raised concerns about red flags in his background check, two sources told the Free Beacon, referring to discrepancies found on his Standard Form 86, a questionnaire everyone is required to complete to be considered for federal positions involving national security.
When asked about the allegations by the Free Beacon, Chmielewski reportedly refused to answer questions and made threatening remarks.
Chmielewski had served as a personal assistant to Trump on the presidential campaign trail in 2016 and previously did advance work for several other Republican presidential campaigns.
After Trump’s election, he briefly worked for the Department of Homeland Security before switching to the EPA.
Two people working on the Trump campaign with him say they were alarmed about Chmielewski’s judgment and behavior after he repeatedly manhandling protesters at rallies. He had at least one run-in with a Secret Service detail on the campaign, which warned him not to get physical with the protesters.
Chmielewski also never filed required financial disclosure forms during his year in the Trump administration, a rare and potentially serious offense that in other cases has resulted in a criminal charge by the Justice Department, according to Propublica.com.
Other problems in his background reportedly included inflating his Coast Guard service reckless driving, and unpaid taxes.
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