Attorney General Eric Holder has racked up more than $4.2 million in travel expenses over four years, including $697,525 in taxpayer-provided personal trips to resort areas like Martha's Vineyard and Atlantic City, according to documents provided to the watchdog group Judicial Watch.
The records from Justice and provided to Secrets show that Holder, who is required to travel on government aircraft because of security, submitted bills of $16,452.50 to speak at Al Sharpton's National Action Network on New York in April 2011, $38,108.18 in expenses to address the pro-immigration reform group LULAC in June 2012, and $38,108.18 to speak to another pro-immigration group, La Raza, in Las Vegas in July 2012.
What's more, Judicial Watch revealed an April trip to a U.S.-Mexico Arms Trafficking Strategy Meeting, an issue the attorney general said he wasn't involved in.
Judicial Watch said that the documents were a response to an August 2012 Freedom of Information Act request. The group said that the expenses were too high.
Overall, Judicial Watch said the documents detailed 213 trips out of Washington between March 27, 2009 and August 24, 2012, for a price of $4,263,704.01. It is not uncommon for an attorney general to travel often.
The documents found that 31 of the trips were personal, for a total cost of $697,525.20. Included were two trips to Martha's Vineyard for $95,184.50, one to Atlantic City in September 2010 for $7,408. The Martha's Vineyard tab calculated by Judicial Watch doesn't include a third "combined business and personal" trip, including a business stop in Milwaukee, last August at a cost of $60,273.15.
In their release, Judicial Watch said that Holder typically travels in a Gulfstream V.
"I hope these documents help Attorney General Holder understand the burden his unnecessary personal travel places on American taxpayers," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "The notion that federal officials such as Holder have access to a fleet of luxury jets for discounted personal travel for 'security' reasons should strike most Americans as a scam that needs to be reformed."
Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.