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Mnuchin under Office of Inspector General probe

The Treasury Department's Office of Inspector General is probing Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's use of a government airplane to inspect the nation's gold reserves at Fort Knox Bullion Depository in Kentucky from where he viewed the solar eclipse Aug. 21.

Images courtesy of Department of the Treasury.

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 Commerce luncheon.

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 the eclipse.

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. 

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