Investigation Update: Swamp Airlines – Private Jets at Taxpayer Expense

Investigation Summary:

American Oversight is investigating the Trump Administration’s repeated use of chartered aircrafts and military planes for government travel. High-priced travel at taxpayer expense has become a pattern in the Trump administration–from Treasury Secretary Mnuchin who took a plane to see the solar eclipse, to former HHS Secretary Tom Price who spent upwards of $60,000 on government chartered jets. American Oversight has also called for investigations of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s extensive travel to visit his home state of Oklahoma and the excessive number of costly first-class trips he’s been taking recently. The public has a right to know where their tax dollars are going.

Following media reports of wasteful travel by President Trump’s cabinet that emerged in September 2017, we launched an investigation and have submitted Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to numerous agencies seeking schedules, expenses, and any other records of the use of private or government jets by senior officials.

Tom Price was the first member of the administration to suffer consequences for his wasteful travel on the taxpayers’ dime — but clearly he should not be the last.

American Oversight submitted FOIAs Across the Trump Administration Seeking:

  • Records from 13 Trump administration departments and agencies regarding the use of private, government, or other chartered aircraft for executive travel.

What We’ve Received So Far:

What We’re Still Waiting For:

We’ve only received responses from 5 of 13 agencies. We are still waiting for additional records from the rest.

Next Steps:

If the remaining agencies continue to refuse to comply with their obligations under the Freedom of Information Act, we may be forced to go to court to seek an order compelling them to release the travel records we’ve requested. And given the recent accounts of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s expensive first-class travel, we’re continuing to investigate this kind of misuse of taxpayer money.