Oversight Dems: Conway hasn't reimbursed government for private flights

By Daniel Uria  |  March 13, 2018 at 5:20 PM
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March 13 (UPI) -- White House counselor Kellyanne Conway has yet to reimburse the federal government for private flights she took alongside former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, House Democrats said Tuesday.

The top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Elijah Cummings, said the White House has been withholding documents from the committee's bipartisan investigation into the cost of the flights. He wrote a letter to the panel's chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy calling for him to issue a subpoena.

"Under your chairmanship, the committee has launched three investigations of the White House  --  into private jets, private email, and security clearances  -- but the White House has completely stonewalled our requests for documents in all three," Cummings wrote. "If you do not issue a subpoena at this point, it will be obvious to the White House and the American people that the committee has no intention of serving as a true check on the executive branch."

Price resigned in September of last year and said he would repay the government $51,887.31 for his seat on the flights after a Politico investigation found the flights cost at least $400,000.

"The Department of the Treasury has received three checks from Mr. Price in the amounts of $51,887.31, $6,013.66, and $1,489.00. A handwritten notation on the checks indicates that they relate to certain travel expenses," the Department of the Treasury said.

Cummings said Conway and "several staff" accompanied Price on multiple trips May 9 and May 10, with the cost for all passengers totaling $44,531.45.

Conway also traveled with Price from Washington, D.C., to Chattanooga, Tenn., and back on July 6 and to Philadelphia and back on Sept. 15. The first series of flights cost a total of $14,569.90 for all passengers while the cost of the other flights wasn't included in documents to the committee.

Cummings said the White House has repeatedly offered a series of "series of inexplicable excuses" and declined requests from himself and Gowdy to provide any documents whatsoever in response the bipartisan investigation.

"To date, the White House has refused to provide any documents at all, including those relating to Ms. Conway's participation in these trips, whether she intends to repay the taxpayers for the cost of her travel, or whether the President is considering any disciplinary action against her in light of his decision to fire Secretary Price for participating in the same trips," Cummings wrote.

Cummings also noted Conway has been cited repeatedly for multiple ethics violations at the White House, including last week when the Office of the Special Counsel determined she violated the Hatch Act when she discouraged voters from supporting a Democratic candidate last year.

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