Oversight Dem demands info on Conway's private flights with Tom Price

Oversight Dem demands info on Conway's private flights with Tom Price
© Greg Nash

White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayTrump Jr. to Dem Senator: 'You admitted to hitting your wife so hard it gave her a black eye!' Conway to CNN's Cuomo in heated debate: 'I'll walk away' if you continue to interrupt me On The Money: Cohen reportedly questioned over Trump dealings with Russia | Trump hails economy | Tells workers to 'start looking' if they want a better job | Internal poll shows tax law backfiring on GOP MORE flew on several of the same private flights as former Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom PriceThomas (Tom) Edmunds PriceWhite House officials discussing potential replacements for FEMA chief: report Overnight Health Care: CBO finds bill delaying parts of ObamaCare costs B | Drug CEO defends 400 percent price hike | HHS declares health emergency ahead of hurricane HHS should look into Azar's close ties to the drug industry MORE, but has yet to reimburse the federal government for her share of the costs, House Democrats revealed Tuesday.

Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsRep. Cummings: Will Kavanaugh take lie detector test and ask for FBI investigation? Graham to renew call for second special counsel Hillicon Valley: Sanders finds perfect target in Amazon | Cyberattacks are new fear 17 years after 9/11 | Firm outs alleged British Airways hackers | Trump to target election interference with sanctions | Apple creating portal for police data requests MORE (Md.), the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, accused the White House of stonewalling the investigation into how much the flights cost and called on the panel’s chairman, Rep. Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdySunday shows preview: Trump sells U.N. reorganizing and Kavanaugh allegations dominate Gowdy requests FEMA administrator’s travel records amid allegations Nunes: Russia probe documents should be released before election MORE (R-S.C.), to issue a subpoena.

“The White House has completely stonewalled our requests for documents,” Cummings said in a letter to Gowdy. “If you do not issue a subpoena at this point, it will be obvious to the White House and the American people that the Committee has no intention of serving as a true check on the Executive Branch.”

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Price resigned Sept. 29 after an investigation by Politico found that his use of military flights and private planes has cost taxpayers more than $1 million.

He held the job for less than 10 months, but in that time he traveled to Asia, Africa and Europe on official business aboard military aircraft, the investigation found. His wife, Betty Price, a physician and Georgia state representative, accompanied him on those trips as an adviser.

The trips on military aircraft were approved by the White House.

Conway is leading the White House efforts to combat the opioid crisis. According to documents reviewed by Cummings, Conway accompanied Price on several trips last spring and summer relating to the administration’s opioid response that included stops in Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Cummings said that Conway and "several staff" accompanied Price on flights on May 9 and May 10. The total cost of those flights for all passengers was $44,531.45.

On July 6, Price and Conway also traveled roundtrip from Washington, D.C., to Chattanooga, Tenn. The total cost of these flights for all passengers was $14,569.90. Cummings said the pair flew together again in mid-September to Philadelphia, but the cost was not reported to the committee.

Cummings has repeatedly asked the White House for information about Conway’s presence on the flights ever since the committee’s investigation began last fall.

“To date, the White House has refused to provide any documents at all, including those relating to Ms. Conway’s participation in these trips, whether she intends to repay the taxpayers for the cost of her travel, or whether the President is considering any disciplinary action against her in light of his decision to fire Secretary Price for participating in the same trips,” Cummings wrote.

The Hill reported in December that Price sent three separate checks to the U.S. Treasury on Sept. 28 for a total of nearly $60,000.

A check for $1,489 was written to cover Betty Price's seat on a trip to Asia, while a check for $6,013.66 was written to cover her seat on a trip to Africa. Tom Price also wrote a $51,887.31 check for his share of the domestic flights aboard a chartered jet.

Price’s travel expenditures are the subject of an ongoing investigation by the HHS Office of Inspector General.

Cummings noted that Conway has been cited “repeatedly” for multiple ethics violations at the White House, including as recently as last week.