Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg likes to jet around the country and to overseas locations. He claims to do this while flying coach on commercial airlines, but he’s also taken 23 jet rides at taxpayer expense on private Government-owned jets. Now he’s refusing to supply relevant oversight data for these rides.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) has turned down repeated requests for information related to the taxpayer costs of 23 flights Secretary Pete Buttigieg and his advisers took on government private jets since taking office.
The DOT and the agency’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) office both declined to detail how much each flight cost taxpayers over the course of multiple months and in recent weeks.
It’s illegal for Government agencies to refuse to respond substantively to FOIA requests (clearly saying “No” with a clear explanation of the legality for that “No” would constitute such a substantive response).
It’s a common practice in cases before a court for a judge to advise a jury that when a prosecutor’s witness obfuscates during his testimony, or refuses to answer clearly or at all, the jury is free to attach the most negative interpretation to those witness failures during the jury’s subsequent deliberations.
So it is with the man who sits in the Transportation Secretary’s chair. Pete Buttigieg cannot be taken as anything other than both in over his head and dishonest. His words are useless, and the only conclusion possible concerning those flights is that they were done illegally, and that illegality—repeated 23 times—should be a fireable offense.
Perhaps it’s time for Government officials who stonewall to lose access to their office facilities through those facilities’ loss of funding. And this step, also, although it won’t have immediate effect, even were it to get through the Progressive-Democratic Party-dominated Senate and White House:
House Republicans plan to vote to defund non-complying witnesses in the government when the new fiscal budget takes effect on October 1.
In the present case, that would mean Buttigieg and the head of his FOIA Office would lose their salaries.