And Jeff Sessions is going to let them get away with it.
The Department of Justice, led by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, declined to prosecute even after an official government investigation determined there were violations of the law by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Under Trump, Cabinet officials have gone wild, using taxpayer funds to finance extravagant luxury trips around the world.
An investigation has caught Veteran Affairs Secretary David Shulkin red-handed. The Washington Post notes that Shulkin “is a favorite of President Trump.”
Trump nominated Shulkin to lead the VA, remarking, “I’ll tell you about David: He’s fantastic, he’s fantastic.”
The inspector general for the VA, who is tasked with investigating abuses at the agency, has issued a report revealing that Shulkin’s chief of staff doctored emails and made false statements to hide his luxury travel.
The report notes that “the investigation revealed serious derelictions by VA personnel.”
Vivieca Wright Simpson, the VA chief of staff, altered language in an email to make it appear that Shulkin was receiving an award from the Danish government. She then used the altered email to justify spending over $4,300 of taxpayer funds for airline travel for Shulkin’s wife.
Inspector General Michael J. Missal believed the alterations were in violation of federal criminal laws and referred the issue to the Justice Department, who declined to prosecute.
The report also found that Shulkin and his staff lied to the investigating agency about key details of his trip.
Shulkin improperly received tickets to a Wimbledon tennis match worth thousands of dollars. The report also said Shulkin used an aide coordinating the trip as a “personal travel concierge” for him and his wife.
In one email to the aide, Shulkin’s wife, Merle Bari, wrote about their possible travel itinerary: “Is there earlier flight from Copenhagen? Wimbledon tickets? High tea? Roman baths in [B]ath. Would want to do baths not just tour.”
The damning findings are just the latest in a series of travel scandals described as “Billionaire Air.”
Trump-era officials are emulating his behavior, using public funds to finance a luxury lifestyle. Trump has turned Air Force One into a ferry service, delivering him to his resort properties for weekend games of golf.
And Trump officials have spent over $1 million on other luxury travel. That we know of.
The Shulkin investigation exposes the fact that these officials know they are violating the public trust and going far beyond what is reasonable in their travel accommodations.
There is a leadership vacuum on these issues reaching directly into the Oval Office, and without someone in the presidency setting a tone of decorum and restraint, the swamp of corruption will overflow with sleaze on Donald Trump’s watch.