House Oversight Committee opens investigation into Trump administration travel


Posted on: September 27th, 2017 by ABC News No Comments

ABCNews.com(WASHINGTON) — The House Oversight Committee has launched an investigation into federal agency travel, following a series of reports of Trump cabinet secretaries using government and private aircraft for official and personal travel.

Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina, and Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, have asked the White House and 24 federal agencies for an accounting of all senior administration official travel since the inauguration – including passenger names, destinations, explanations and cost of all government-owned and private aircraft travel.

The committee has asked the White House and agencies to produce the requested information by Tuesday, October 10th.

Several Trump administration officials have come under fire for air travel in recent weeks.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has come under fire for using a government plane for an August flight to Washington from New York City, after a meeting with the president in Trump Tower, as well as a request to use a government jet to fly to Europe for his honeymoon that was eventually withdrawn.

Mnuchin has defended his use of government aircraft, which also includes a trip to Fort Knox in Kentucky during the solar eclipse.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price has also been criticized for his use of private jets to travel for government business. The trips, first reported by Politico last week, included round trip flights to Philadelphia from Washington – a trip that cost thousands of dollars and could have also been made by train or commercial flight.

With the requests, the panel, which has a broad mandate of oversight over the entire federal government and has subpoena power, has opened the most expansive investigation into Trump administration official travel to date. Several inspectors general are investigating the travel of individual Cabinet officials, including Price and Mnuchin.

The investigation is also one of the first bipartisan efforts from the committee since Gowdy became chairman in June, following the resignation of former Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, from Congress.

Earlier this week, Gowdy and Cummings wrote to the White House and other federal agencies requesting details of administration officials’ use of private email and messaging systems.

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