President Donald Trump may have violated federal ethics laws by giving tours of Air Force One to members of his Florida Mar-a-Lago club, according to a report from Buzzfeed News. Now four Democratic senators are calling for an investigation.
Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) wrote a letter to the Air Force inspector general asking for a review of who exactly received the tours.
“Previous presidents have provided friends and even campaign donors by giving tours of Air Force One,” the letter states. “But the reports that members of the president’s private club may have received such tours are particularity troubling because their relationship to the president arises out of an ongoing business relationship with the president.”
Sen. Warren tweeted about the request for an investigation on Tuesday:
Why is @realDonaldTrump giving tours of Air Force One to his Mar-a-Lago buddies? It violates the basic principle against using public office for private gain and I’ve called for an investigation. https://t.co/7MFnrXap9F
— Elizabeth Warren (@elizabethforma) August 7, 2018
The letter from the senators makes five specific demands:
- Review of all visitors aboard Air Force One since January 2017.
- Analysis of both White House and Air Fore One policies allowing private tours of the aircraft and how the guests are vetted by security.
- Investigation of whether the guests had business relations with the president and if that relationship was reason for the tour.
- Whether “Air Force, federal ethics or any other rules” were violated by giving the tours.
- Request of a copy of the Air Force’s policy on “authorized purposes” of federal government property.
The records obtained by Buzzfeed though a Freedom of Information Act request stood out because they never listed an agency name or an official in charge of the tours. Other records have done so.