Washington, DC -- January 28, 2010
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has obtained documents from the Air Force detailing House Speaker Nancy Pelosiís use of United States Air Force aircraft for Congressional Delegations (CODELs). According to the documents, obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Speakerís military travel cost the United States Air Force $2,100,744.59 over a two-year period ó $101,429.14 of which was for in-flight expenses, including food and alcohol. The following are highlights from the recent release of about 2,000 documents:
Speaker Pelosi used Air Force aircraft to travel back to her district at an average cost of $28,210.51 per flight. The average cost of an international CODEL is $228,563.33. Of the 103 Pelosi-led congressional delegations (CODEL), 31 trips included members of the House Speakerís family.
One CODEL traveling from Washington, DC, through Tel Aviv, Israel to Baghdad, Iraq May 15-20, 2008, ďto discuss matters of mutual concern with government leadersĒ included members of Congress and their spouses and cost $17,931 per hour in aircraft alone. Purchases for the CODEL included: Johnny Walker Red scotch, Grey Goose vodka, E&J brandy, Baileyís Irish CrŤme, Makerís Mark whiskey, Courvoisier cognac, Bacardi Light rum, Jim Beam whiskey, Beefeater gin, Dewars scotch, Bombay Sapphire gin, Jack Daniels whiskey, Corona beer and several bottles of wine.
According to a ďMemo for RecordĒ from a March 29óApril 7, 2007, CODEL that involved a stop in Israel, ďCODEL could only bring Kosher items into the Hotel. Kosher alcohol for mixing beverages in the Delegation room was purchased on the local economy i.e. Bourbon, Whiskey, Scotch, Vodka, Gin, Triple Sec, Tequila, etc.Ē
The Department of Defense advanced a CODEL of 56 members of Congress and staff $60,000 to travel to Louisiana and Mississippi July 19-22, 2008, to ďview flood relief advances from Hurricane Katrina.Ē The three-day trip cost the U.S. Air Force $65,505.46, exceeding authorized funding by $5,505.46.
ďSpeaker Pelosi has a history of wasting taxpayer funds with her boorish demands for military travel. And these documents suggest the Speakerís congressional delegations are more about partying than anything else,Ē said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
Judicial Watch previously obtained internal DOD email correspondence detailing attempts by DOD staff to accommodate Pelosiís numerous requests for military escorts and military aircraft as well as the speakerís last minute cancellations and changes.