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(Bloomberg) -- A senior Democratic senator demanded information on Wednesday about Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s chief of staff’s travel on the private jet of Trian Fund Management CEO Nelson Peltz, a major Republican donor.
The Washington Post reported yesterday that the chief of staff, Eli Miller, flew with Peltz to Palm Beach, Florida several months ago. The Treasury Department’s inspector general, which is already probing Mnuchin’s use of government aircraft, began reviewing details of Miller’s trip after the Post report.
Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, the senior Democrat on the Finance Committee, which oversees Treasury, sent a letter to the department’s general counsel on Thursday requesting documentation that Miller sought approval from ethics officials before the trip. Bloomberg saw a copy of the letter dated Oct. 4.
The Post reported Treasury said ethics officials determined the trip was permissible because Miller, a Republican campaign official before joining the government, had a preexisting personal relationship with Peltz.
“I am again writing to request information about luxury travel by a Treasury Department official,” Wyden wrote to the department’s general counsel, Brent McIntosh. “An official, business, or political relationship does not generally qualify as a personal relationship.”
His letter also requests the dates of the trip and information about its costs, as well as information about “any other gifts” Miller has received from Peltz or other people outside the government. Wyden also asked whether Miller was on leave or otherwise not acting in his capacity as a Treasury official when he traveled with Peltz.
Wyden noted that Peltz is “an outspoken advocate” for the large corporate tax cut President Donald Trump has proposed, which the Treasury Department is helping to design.
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