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Ethics Group Sues Over Mnuchin Solar Eclipse Jaunt

An ethics group is suing the Treasury Department for failing to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request about a July jaunt taken by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and wife Louise Linton to watch the solar eclipse in Kentucky.

The group, Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington, requested the information about costs for the trip, after the Cabinet secretary and his spouse traveled to Fort Knox – in the so-called zone of totality – to view the solar eclipse.

The two traveled aboard a federal plane and were received at the site operated by the government. Linton received backlash for the travel after she posted a photo on social media bragging about all the bling she was wearing during the outing.

“We filed an expedited FOIA request because Americans deserve more information to determine whether there has been misuse of government resources,” said CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder in a press release. “We’re suing because the government has so far failed even to respond.”

“At a time of expected deep cuts to the federal budget, the taxpayers have a significant interest in learning the extent to which Secretary Mnuchin has used government planes for travel in lieu of commercial planes, and the justification for that use,” he added.

Contact Daniel J. Solomon at solomon@forward.com or on Twitter @DanielJSolomon

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