U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller took out-of-town trips in fiscal year 2011 at costs totalling just over $2.5 million, according to disclosures released to Bloomberg News
Holder's trips totalled $1.45 million, while Mueller's totalled another $1.25 million. Both officials, Bloomberg reports, are considered "required use" personnel who are compelled by executive order to use government aircraft for all travel because of "security and communications needs," according to the Government Accountability Office.
The government covers the costs of official trips, while personal travel is to be reimbursed by the office holder. However, the reimbursement is to be at an equivalent to the cost of coach fare, which is much less, the GAO said.
Both Holder and Mueller came under fire earlier this year for their expensive travel costs, The Hill reports
, when Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley criticized them for using official government jets to take personal trips on the taxpayer’s dime as sequestration was approaching.
In Holder's case, the travel during the time period included a trip to Las Vegas, marked as both business and personal, that cost $46,358. Nine other trips that included flights to Martha's Vineyard, Mass., and Miami, were labeled as personal and cost a total of $169,502. The trips also included a business-related flight, costing $83,002 to Krakow, Poland to attend the G-6 summit.
Holder took seven other trips to China, Hawaii, and Brussels, but the GAO didn't provide those costs.
Mueller took 25 trips out of town during Fiscal Year 2011, including a business trip that took him through China, Indonesia, and Hong Kong for a price tag of $212,283. The FBI director also took a personal trip to San Francisco for $95,364, reimbursing the government for a coach fare ticket. Mueller disclosed his travel records to Bloomberg in April, but Holder took more than a year to release the numbers.
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