Conservative group calls for ethics probe into McCaskill’s use of private plane

Conservative group calls for ethics probe into McCaskill’s use of private plane
© Greg Nash

A conservative watchdog group on Thursday requested a Senate Ethics Committee investigation into Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillMSNBC's McCaskill: Trump used 'his fat thumbs' to try to intimidate Yovanovitch GOP senator rips into Pelosi at Trump rally: 'It must suck to be that dumb' Iranian attacks expose vulnerability of campaign email accounts MORE’s (D-Mo.) use of a private plane.

The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) request cites McCaskill’s 2017 financial disclosure, which shows she reported less than $201 of income from a plane that's owned by her husband’s company. FACT cited data showing the plane had traveled more than 40,000 miles last year, which the group argued would result in well over $200 in income.

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The group's investigation request was first reported by Politico.

Meira Bernstein, a spokeswoman for McCaskill’s campaign, told Politico in an email that the complaint is a “phony allegation” and was part of an effort by her midterm opponent, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley (R), to distract from his policy views.

She added that financial disclosure forms require lawmakers to disclose net profit, not gross revenue, meaning McCaskill accurately reflected the plane's value for the year.

The ethics complaint comes on the heels of McCaskill acknowledging to multiple news outlets that she used a private plane during parts of what she branded an RV tour of Missouri.

“The plane picked me up at the end of one day after I spent all day on the RV and it took me to my overnight location,” McCaskill told CNN earlier this month. “And the next day we used the plane to add a stop. But I was on the RV totally — two of the three days I was out.”

McCaskill, who is seeking her third Senate term, is considered one of the most vulnerable Democrats up for reelection this year. Hawley, President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from the Democratic debate As Buttigieg rises, Biden is still the target Leading Democrats largely pull punches at debate MORE and other Republicans have seized on news reports of her private plane use.