Republicans Press FBI Director on Vacation Use of Govt Jet

Republicans Press FBI Director on Vacation Use of Govt Jet fbi director christopher wray speaks at a hearing FBI Director Christoper Wray (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By Jay Clemons | Monday, 15 August 2022 03:28 PM EDT

Reps. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y.; James Comer, R-Ky.; and Mike Turner, R-Ohio, are demanding answers from FBI Director Christopher Wray's recent vacation, specifically allegations of the agency director using a government plane for personal travel.

In their Monday letter to Wray, Turner, Comer, and Stefanik said: "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 [Sen. Chuck] 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.

The letter continued: "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."

According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), in general terms, the FBI director must make reimbursement payments for personal travel to the FBI's Finance Division, which then transfers the recouped funds to the Treasury Department.

The Aug. 7 Senate hearing with Wray covered an array of subjects, according to the New York Post: The FBI's handling of the Larry Nassar/abused gymnasts case, the investigation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh before his Senate confirmation, the United States' military withdrawal from Afghanistan last year (which prompted a country takeover from the Taliban), properly vetting migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, concealed-carry permit laws in Missouri, the alleged "blacklisting" of patriotic American symbols from decades past, and Hunter Biden and his now-infamous laptop (reportedly in the FBI's possession).

Wray's Aug. 4 hearing with the Senate commission came four days before the FBI raided former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida — a 9½-hour search in which agents reportedly seized boxes of Trump presidential documents.

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