WASHINGTON – The agency that tracks federal travel did not report hundreds of expensive personal trips aboard government planes for senior Justice Department officials, including Attorney General Eric Holder and former FBI Director Robert Mueller, according to a watchdog report.
Congress’ nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) determined that the 395 flights cost taxpayers $7.8 million. But the General Services Administration (GSA), which oversees such trips, did not require documentation because of a GSA reporting exemption that covers intelligence agencies, even in cases of unclassified personal travel.
The GSA exemption contradicts decades-old executive branch requirements established by President Bill Clinton and the Office of Management and Budget, according to the report. The report said GSA “has not provided a basis for deviating from executive branch requirements.”
The findings, released Thursday, came out nearly 19 months after Republican lawmakers began questioning Holder’s use of an FBI jet for travel unrelated to Justice Department work. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, asked the GAO to look into the matter.