Sun. Aug 25th, 2019

Documents: Attorney General Eric Holder billed taxpayers for more than $4 MILLION in travel in less than 4 years

4 min read

By  David Martosko In Washington

PUBLISHED: 16:40 EST, 5  August 2013 |  UPDATED: 16:46 EST, 5 August 2013

Attorney General Eric Holder spoke at the April 2011 convention of the Rev. Al Sharpton's National Action Network, charging taxpayers $15,452.50 for his travel 

Attorney General Eric Holder spoke at the April 2011  convention of the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, charging taxpayers  $15,452.50 for his travel

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s travel  expenses exceeded $4 million for 213 separate trips during President Obama’s  first term in office, according to documents obtained through the Freedom Of  Information Act.

The expenses, incurred between March 2009 and  August 2012, were all borne by taxpayers – including those covering several  personal trips. Holder typically travels on a government-owned Gulfstream V jet,  whose retail cost is more than $53.5 million. The U.S. government owns at least  five such aircraft.

Judicial Watch  released the documents Monday,  showing that the attorney general billed his agency more than $113,000 in travel  expenses for four trips he made, while in office, to speak to liberal advocacy  groups.

Holder’s very first taxpayer-funded trip was  to an April 2009 ‘US/Mexico Arms Trafficking Strategy Meeting.’

 

According to the speech that the DOJ prepared for him, Holder told U.S. and  Mexican law enforcement officials in Cuernavaca, Mexico that he was ‘committing  100 new ATF personnel to the Southwest border in the next 100 days to supplement  our ongoing Project Gunrunner.’

Gunrunner was a precursor to the better-known  Operation Fast and Furious. Both programs involved using ‘straw purchasers’ to  track illegal guns carried across the U.S.-Mexico border.

Holder later testified before Congress that  he had no knowledge of the tactics used in the program, and wrote in a  subsequent letter that he had ‘no recollection of knowing about Fast and Furious … Prior to  early 2011, I certainly never knew about the tactics employed in the  operation.’

A Gulfstream V private jet like this one is Holder's aircraft of choice, ferrying him on about 200 trips during President Obama's first termA Gulfstream V private jet like this one is Holder’s  aircraft of choice, ferrying him on about 200 trips during President Obama’s  first term

Holder’s other trips during Obama’s first term in the  White House included personal jaunts to Atlantic City; Chicago; Miami;  Cleveland; Raleigh, North Carolina; Savannah and Macon, Georgia; Martha’s  Vineyard, Massachusetts; and Farmingdale, New York. Many of the  documents Judicial Watch obtained  include Holder’s personal expense reports for room service and  lodging.

And while most of the travel expenses  covered events and  meetings that fit within Holder’s position, he also  billed the Department of  Justice for travel related to commencement  speeches at several universities  whose endowments are in the billions of dollars.

Like most federal government VIPs, Holder can  take expensive private aircraft for personal travel, while only reimbursing the  government for the equivalent point-to-point coach fare. The balance, amounting  to more than $697,000, comes out of taxpayer dollars.

It’s unlikely that speaking engagements count  as personal travel, even when they serve political groups that have a stake in  ongoing Justice Department proceedings.

Playing the slots? Holder billed the DOJ $7,408 for a 'personal' trip to Atlantic City in September 2010Playing the slots? Holder billed the DOJ $7,408 for a  ‘personal’ trip to Atlantic City in September 2010

 

The attorney general's first trip on the taxpayers' dime involved a speech about a gunrunning interdiction program that led to Operation Fast and Furious, an operation about which he later claimed to have no knowledgeThe attorney general’s first trip on the taxpayers’ dime  involved a speech about a gunrunning interdiction program that led to Operation  Fast and Furious, an operation about which he later claimed to have no  knowledge

 

The National Council of La Raza, the NAACP,  the League of United Latin American Citizens, the National Urban League and Al  Sharpton’s National Action Network all have vested interests in the ongoing  immigration battles, and in voting rights cases where Holder has sided with  advocates against voter-ID laws.

The federal government covered his travel  expenses for trips to speak to all four groups. That included flights on a  Department of Defense plane for the NAACP annual meeting in 2012, a trip whose  expenses weren’t itemized in the documents Judicial Watch reviewed.

Holder also gave commencement speeches and  other addresses at the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University and  Princeton University, all wealthy Ivy League schools, and at Tulane University,  Vanderbilt University, the University of Virginia and five different law  schools.

Those expenses, totaling more than $216,000,  were billed to the government, despite universities’ common practice of  reimbursing commencement speakers for their travel and paying them  honoraria.

The DOJ did not respond to a request for  comment.

But Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said  he hopes ‘these documents help Attorney General Holder understand the burden his  unnecessary personal travel places on American taxpayers.’

‘The notion that federal officials such as  Holder have access to a fleet of luxury jets for discounted personal travel for  “security” reasons should strike most Americans as a scam that needs to be  reformed,’ he said.

Holder's expense report from his June 28, 2012 speech to the League of United Latin American Citizens in Lake Buena Vista, Florida included $38,108 in 'business and personal' expenses 

Holder’s expense report from his June 28, 2012 speech to  the League of United Latin American Citizens in Lake Buena Vista, Florida  included $38,108 in ‘business and personal’ expenses

 

The U.S. attorney general filed travel reports for at least 11 university speeches -- at a total cost to taxpayers of more than $216,000 -- including a March 2012 address at the Northwestern University law school 

 

The U.S. attorney general filed travel reports for at  least 11 university speeches — at a total cost to taxpayers of more than  $216,000 — including a March 2012 address at the Northwestern University law  school

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2385025/Documents-Attorney-General-Eric-Holder-billed-taxpayers-4-MILLION-travel-4-years.html#ixzz2b9tTQGeZ Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

2 thoughts on “Documents: Attorney General Eric Holder billed taxpayers for more than $4 MILLION in travel in less than 4 years

Copyright © All rights reserved. Newsphere by AF themes.