Treasury Investigators Are ‘Reviewing’ Mnuchin’s Eclipse Trip For Ethics Violations
Investigators are looking into whether Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin misused federal funds or behaved inappropriately when he flew to Kentucky with his wife on a government plane to view the eclipse August 21.
“We are reviewing the circumstances of the Secretary’s August 21 flight . . . to determine whether all applicable travel, ethics, and appropriation laws and policies were observed,” Rich Delmar, counsel for the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of the Treasury, told The Washington Post Thursday.
“When our review is complete, we will advise the appropriate officials, in accordance with the Inspector General Act and established procedures,” Delmar said.
Treasury officials described the trip as official business, but Mnuchin’s trip included a stop at Fort Knox, Ky., to watch the eclipse with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and other politicians.
Louise Linton, Mnuchin’s wife, posted about their trip on Instagram, eliciting a harsh reaction from social media and raising questions of potential ethics violations from lawmakers.
Responding to critical comments on her post, Linton asked “Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband?” and said “Pretty sure the amount we sacrifice per year is a lot more than you’d be willing to sacrifice if the choice was yours,” then called the commenter “adorably out of touch.”
— Margarita Noriega (@margarita) August 22, 2017
The appearance of misconduct surrounding the trip prompted Oregon Democrat Sen. Ron Wyden to request an explanation of Mnuchin’s travel, claiming it seemed “to have been planned around the solar eclipse.”
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