Government Watchdog CREW Calls For Investigation Into Nikki Haley’s Private Plane Flights
On Monday, a government watchdog organization demanded an investigation into whether resigning U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley broke federal ethics rules by accepting flights on private planes.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) reportedly sent the State Department a letter urging the inspector general to launch an inquiry into the flights. Haley — whom President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday will leave her post at the end of the year — admitted to taking the flights in her financial disclosure report last year.
Seven free flights Haley took in 2017 are in question. She reportedly traveled from Washington, D.C. to New York as well as three cities in South Carolina, the state for which Haley previously served as a Republican governor. The trips likely cost tens of thousands of dollars.
According to federal ethics regulations, government employees are prohibited from accepting or soliciting gifts. Haley’s financial disclosure report shows she has ties to three businessmen from South Carolina.
Haley is one of several Trump administration officials to become embroiled in a financial scandal that is said to have violated ethics rules. Former Health Secretary Tom Price resigned in September 2017 after it was discovered he had used hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to pay for international flights on private jets, while former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt also stepped down earlier this year after he was caught in multiple financial controversies.
“By accepting gifts of luxury private flights, Ambassador Haley seems to be falling in line with other Trump administration officials who are reaping personal benefits from their public positions,” CREW’s executive director, Noah Bookbinder, said in a statement. “Our ethics laws are clearly written to prevent even the appearance of corruption and improper influence.”