Holder defends using DoJ airplane for 27 personal trips
Attorney General Eric Holder told a congressional committee that a GAO report detailing his use of the Justice Department plane was exaggerating. But read closely what he says and you'll realize he just doesn't get it.
"My staff keeps telling me to take it easy, you know, well, this is one that gets me," Holder told Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., during a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing. "There was this notion that we've taken -- I think it was described as hundreds of personal trips. That was wrong. GAO counted flights, not round trips. And we looked at it and figured out from the time period that they were looking, we took not hundreds, but 27 personal, four combined -- official and nonpersonal trips -- and none of the trips that I took or that the [FBI] director took ever had an impact on the mission capability of those airplanes."
What kind of doublespeak is a defense for using taxpayer dollars to jet away on personal business as not having an "impact on the mission capability of those airplanes." I suppose that's a good thing, but he's missing the point entirely. The issue isn't whether he's interferring with the ability of those planes to be used for official purpoises, it's that he's overusing the plane for non-official purposes.
"We didn't have a reporting requirement that existed before," he said. "If they want to change those rules, we'd be more than glad to make sure that we share that information with the appropriate organization, but this is something that is really wide open."
If this is something "really wide open," why should anyone have to file an FOIA request?
I don't think there are too many people who think the AG should have to use commercial airlines for personal travel. But 27 personal trips using the department airplane in 5+ years is excessive and he should be held to account for that.