A lawsuit has been filed, and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has been stonewalling over discourse revolving around multiple flights he took to swing states.
Buttigieg appears to like flying government jets instead of taking commercial flights. However, that’s not what he told Congress.
“The way I usually travel is in economy class aboard an airliner like everybody else,” Buttigieg told lawmakers during a House hearing in September after he was questioned on his use of government jets. “When we do it differently, it’s often because it will save taxpayer money.”
Government lawyers are telling the watchdog group Americans for Public Trust that the department is exempt from producing the information the group is suing for.
“Secretary Buttigieg continues to blow off the American people who simply want to know the true cost of his taxpayer-funded private jet trips,” APT Executive Director Caitlin Sutherland said in a statement. “After multiple FOIA requests, a lawsuit, and an ongoing inspector general investigation, Buttigieg’s office still refuses to provide vital details about using a private government jet for a swing state tour, which appears more akin to campaigning than official DOT business.”
“Buttigieg looks to be politicizing his role and making it clear that he believes he’s above accountability and transparency, a dismissive attitude that seems to be endemic throughout the Biden administration,” Sutherland said.
Flights to Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Ohio, Nevada, and New Hampshire are all under the microscope.
From Fox News:
That line of questioning — during which Buttigieg failed to mention there are cases, like his two trips in August 2022, when the use of government jets doesn’t save taxpayers money — came after multiple Fox News Digital reports highlighting how the transportation secretary has utilized two taxpayer-funded Cessna 560XL private jets managed by the DOT’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
In December 2022, Fox News Digital reported that, based on flight tracking data, Buttigieg had taken 18 trips on the FAA-managed fleet of executive aircraft which are reserved for government officials on occasions when flying commercial isn’t feasible. The flight records aligned with Buttigieg’s internal calendar obtained at the time by APT.
That report led the DOT Office of the Inspector General to open an investigation in late February into Buttigieg’s extensive use of the FAA’s fleet of executive jets. Moments after the inspector general initiated the audit, Buttigieg welcomed the action, saying he mainly flies on commercial airlines and that he “usually” uses the jets if it saves taxpayers money.
Now that a lawsuit has been filed Pete doesn’t seem to want to be as transparent.