House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.), House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Ranking Member Mike Turner (R-Ohio) today are pressing Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray on his use of government aircraft for personal travel as an illegal abuse of taxpayer funds.
“In light of a recent report by the New York Post that you left a Senate hearing early to fly on an FBI aircraft for a personal vacation, we have questions about whether you are properly reimbursing federal taxpayers for your personal travel aboard government aircraft. According to the Post, on August 4, 2022, you abruptly departed a Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing to engage in personal travel to your vacation home in Saranac Lake, New York. Despite requests from Ranking Member Grassley, you refused to remain at the hearing for an additional 21 minutes for remaining members to finish asking their questions and conduct oversight of the FBI,” the lawmakers wrote.
“You reportedly departed on the FBI’s Gulfstream 550 jet, an agency aircraft initially intended for counterterrorism use, to make the one hour and 12-minute journey to Saranac Lake. Further, it has been reported that you made a similar personal trip on a government aircraft on June 2 and June 5, 2022. Although certain federal officials are permitted to use government aircraft for personal or political use, these expenses must be reimbursed,” the lawmakers continued.
According to the Government Accountability Office, the FBI Director must make reimbursement payments for personal travel to the FBI Finance Division, which then deposits the funds to the Department of the Treasury. In order to have important oversight on whether these appropriate actions were taken, the lawmakers requested related documents and information, specifically outlined in the letter by August 29, 2022.
Read the full letter here.