Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee have accused committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) of conducting a “partisan attack” on Vice President Mike Pence’s trip to Doonbeg, Ireland, by demanding documents and information from entities that had nothing to do with the travel and accommodations for the trip.
“Although you coordinated your attack with Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, you failed to consult with any Republican Members before demanding voluminous information from four separate entities – none of which bore responsibility for the lodging and accommodations in Ireland,” wrote committee ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH). “We can only assume that these letters were the result of a rushed process to capitalize on news reporting about the Ireland travel, rather than responsible and deliberative oversight.”
That reporting, from left-leaning media outlets, suggested Pence’s stay at President Donald Trump’s golf course in Ireland was evidence “the president is using his position to enrich himself,” as NBC reported. Receipts from the State Department show the trip cost taxpayers $600,000.
“The receipts totaled more than $599,000 in conjunction with the vice president’s stay, which required him to travel back-and-forth between Doonbeg and Dublin, where his official meetings were set to take place,” the outlet reported. “During then-President Barack Obama’s three-day visit to Ireland in 2013, the State Department spent just $114,000 on ground transit, paying the same limousine company. The government paid the same company nearly $1 million for Trump’s ground transportation during a June visit to the property.”
Cummings, however, has asked for information from the White House, the Vice President’s Office, the Secret Service, and the Trump Organization, which don’t handle the lodging and travel for the vice president.
“As you surely know, the Vice President ‘s Office and the White House do not expend appropriated funds for official international travel. Instead, the State Department bears responsibility for the Vice President ‘s travel arrangements, including the travel to Doonbeg. You, however, chose not to seek information from the State Department,” Jordan wrote.
Cummings had previously demanded information into official stays at Trump-owned properties in an apparent effort to prove the president is corrupt. As Jordan wrote, Cummings’ previous attempt failed.
“Following the President’s stay at Trump Turnberry in Scotland in July 2018, you asked the independent State Department Office of Inspector General (OIG) to examine any possible financial impropriety related to the travel. In July 2019, the OIG reported back to you that the State Department had saved taxpayer money by staying at the Trump Turnberry property, explaining that the ‘rate offered by the Trump Tum berry [was] the lowest of all the hotels being utilized for this VIP visit,’” Jordan wrote. “You have not acknowledged these facts.”
Jordan then excoriated Cummings for having claimed previously that he would “be about the business of being fair” and would “seek the truth and nothing but the truth.” Cummings also promised he would “not be about the business of wasting taxpayer dollars.”
“Your continuous political attacks on the Trump Administration do not advance this goal,” Jordan concluded.