Watchdog group sues for records on Mnuchin and wife's eclipse trip

Watchdog group sues for records on Mnuchin and wife's eclipse trip
© Greg Nash

A watchdog group sued the Treasury Department on Monday for records about Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinAnalysis: House GOP tax bill adds .3T to the deficit Mnuchin: Comparisons to James Bond villain a compliment Sunday shows preview: GOP gears up for Senate tax reform push MORE and his wife's trip last month to Kentucky at the time of the solar eclipse.

The lawsuit comes after the group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for records detailing the costs of Mnuchin's trip last month, in which he used a government plane to travel to Lexington, Ky.

The group said in a statement Monday that the Treasury Department has not yet responded to the request.

“We filed an expedited FOIA request because Americans deserve more information to determine whether there has been misuse of government resources,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said in a statement.

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“We’re suing because the government has so far failed even to respond.”

Bookbinder added that 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."

CREW announced previously it was requesting "copies of all records concerning authorization for and the costs" of the Kentucky trip, and any other similar costs for transport in a government plane accrued by Mnuchin since he took office.

Mnuchin's wife, Louise Linton, drew attention on social media during the trip after posting a photo with a description of her designer outfit. The photo included the government plane in the background.