Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is under
investigation by his department’s Office of Inspector General over his use of an
Air Force plane to fly him to inspect the nation’s gold reserves at
the Fort Knox Bullion Depository in Kentucky, from
where he viewed the solar eclipse.
Treasury OIG general counsel Rich Delmar confirmed to Coin
World that a probe was underway.
“In response to inquiries received from members of the public, we
are reviewing the circumstances of the Secretary’s August 21 flight to
Louisville and Ft. Knox, to determine whether all applicable travel,
ethics, and appropriation laws and policies were observed,” according
to a statement Delmar provided by email. “When our review is complete,
we will advise the appropriate officials, in accordance with the
Inspector General Act and established procedures.”
Accompanying Mnuchin on the military aircraft was his wife, Louise
Linton, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
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The single-day trip included a stop in Louisville for a Chamber of
Mnuchin, along with McConnell and two other Kentucky elected
officials, U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky., and Kentucky’s Republican
governor, Matt Bevin, inspected the gold bars stored inside one of the
vaults at the bullion depository. The site of the depository also
provided a vantage point for Mnuchin, McConnell and others to witness
Other than the Treasury OIG staff, Treasury Department officials did
not respond to Coin World’s inquiries for comments.
A Treasury Department spokesperson is cited in a Washington
Post article that claims the Treasury department sought approval
from the White House for the use of the aircraft, and that Mnuchin
personally reimbursed the federal government for his wife’s travel expenses.