Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Representatives for Judicial Watch, which obtained e-mails and other documents showing the requests, say House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has treated the Air Force as her “personal airline.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly requested military aircraft to shuttle her and her colleagues and family around the country, according to a new report from a conservative watchdog group.
Representatives for Judicial Watch, which obtained e-mails and other documents from a Freedom of Information request, said the correspondence shows Pelosi has abused the system in place to accommodate congressional leaders and treated the Air Force as her “personal airline.”
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Pelosi’s office disputed the claim, pointing to White House policy enacted after the Sept. 11 attacks allowing for the House speaker to travel to his or her congressional district via military aircraft whenever possible for security reasons. Her office said she typically uses the same kind of aircraft used by her predecessor, Dennis Hastert.
But Judicial Watch said that Pelosi was notorious for making special demands for high-end aircraft, lodging last-minute cancellations and racking up additional expenses for the military.
The e-mails showed repeated attempts by Pelosi aides to request aircraft, sometimes aggressively, and by Department of Defense officials to accommodate them.