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 Pelosiâ€™s 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 Speakerâ€™s military travel cost the United States Air Force $2,100,744.59 over a two-year period â€” $101,429.14 of which was for in-flight expenses, including food and alcohol. The following are highlights from the recent release of aboutÂ 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 Speakerâ€™s family.
- One CODEL traveling from Washington, DC, through Tel Aviv, Israel to Baghdad, Iraq May 15-20, 2008, â€œto discuss matters of mutual concern with government leadersâ€ included members of Congress and their spouses and cost $17,931 per hour in aircraft alone.Â Purchases for the CODELÂ included: Johnny Walker Red scotch, Grey Goose vodka, E&J brandy, Baileyâ€™s Irish CrÃ¨me, Makerâ€™s 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 â€œMemo for Recordâ€ from a March 29â€”April 7, 2007, CODEL that involved a stop in Israel, â€œCODEL 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.â€
- The Department of Defense advanced aÂ CODEL of 56 members of CongressÂ and staff $60,000 to travel to Louisiana and Mississippi July 19-22, 2008, to â€œview flood relief advances from Hurricane Katrina.â€ The three-day trip cost the U.S. Air Force $65,505.46, exceeding authorized funding by $5,505.46.
â€œSpeaker Pelosi has a history of wasting taxpayer funds with her boorish demands for military travel. And these documents suggest the Speakerâ€™s congressional delegations are more about partying than anything else,â€ said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
Judicial Watch previously obtained internal DOD email correspondence detailing attempts by DOD staff to accommodate Pelosiâ€™s numerous requests for military escorts and military aircraft as well as the speakerâ€™s last minute cancellations and changes.