WASHINGTON — Confidential security assessments in the Environmental Protection Agency show no evidence of specific, credible, physical threats against Administrator Scott Pruitt, despite claims that an “unprecedented” number of death threats justify his outsized security spending, according to a review by Senate Democrats.

Democrats on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee wrote in a letter Tuesday that they have reviewed security assessments describing 16 purported threats against Pruitt. They include public protests, criticism of Pruitt’s policies and other activities protected by the First Amendment.

The letter from Sens. Tom Carper of Delaware and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island urged the committee’s Republican majority to begin oversight hearings into Pruitt’s unusual security precautions.

Committee Chairman John Barrasso quickly rebuffed that request, saying no hearing on Pruitt’s security procedures will be held. The Wyoming Republican lashed out at his Democratic colleagues, accusing Carper and Whitehouse of selectively quoting the documents and improperly disclosing “law enforcement sensitive information” without the approval of EPA or the Secret Service.

The Associated Press reported Friday that EPA has spent $3 million on Pruitt’s security measures, which included flying first-class and using a full-time security detail of 20 armed officers.

EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox said last week there had been an “unprecedented” amount of death threats against Pruitt and his family. Wilcox doubled down on that assertion Tuesday, but did not immediately respond to a request from AP to release details of the specific incidents to which he was referring.

President Trump defended Pruitt in a tweet Saturday night, downplaying the ethical questions swirling around his embattled EPA chief. He added that Pruitt’s security spending “somewhat more” than prior EPA chiefs, but said Pruitt had received death threats “because of his bold actions at EPA.”

The Democrats said they found no records describing specific, credible threats against Pruitt. An internal EPA document recounted such threat as attempts by protesters to disrupt a speech and a post card sent to Pruitt that said: “CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL!!! We are watching you.”

The Democrats also obtained a Feb. 14 assessment from EPA’s Office of Homeland Security Intelligence that concluded “EPA Intelligence has not identified any specific, credible, direct threat to the EPA administrator.”

The internal review said an earlier threat assessment by Pruitt’s security team “does not employ sound analysis or articulate relevant ‘threat specific’ information appropriate to draw any resource or level of threat conclusions regarding the protection posture for the administrator.”

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