The private jet Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) said she chartered for her secret trip to Florida in March is not approved to be chartered, the FAA told the Detroit Free Press Monday.
The new problems arose when Whitmer’s chief of staff, Joanne Huls, attempted to explain away the flight Friday by saying a related 501(c)(4) so-called dark money group paid for the flight.
It was determined the cost of the roundtrip was $27,521, and Whitmer personally reimbursed the fund just $855 for her seat. It was not clear how they arrived at either figure.
In a memo that became public, Huls said Whitmer’s office “made a decision to use a chartered flight for this trip” due to security concerns. But it has been reported Whitmer’s office did not notify Florida law enforcement officials of the visit. The trip also came at a time Whitmer was urging Michiganders not to travel to Florida over coronavirus concerns.
“The cost to charter the flight was paid for by the Michigan Transition 2019,” the political nonprofit set up to accept anonymous donations for her inauguration, Huls said.
More from the paper:
Michigan Transition 2019 was incorporated in 2018 under Section 501c4 of the Internal Revenue Code, state records show. Such “social welfare” nonprofit funds are commonly used by state and local officeholders but have been the source of past controversies, notably for former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and for former Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, whose NERD (New Energy to Reinvent and Diversify) Fund was the subject of criticism for not disclosing its corporate donors and for paying the salary of a top Snyder aide, Richard Baird.
Elizabeth Isham Cory, a spokeswoman for the FAA, told the Free Press “companies that operate charter flights must have a Part 135 certificate” from the agency.
Air Eagle, LLC, a company owned by three Detroit-area businessmen, “does not have a Part 135 certificate,” according to Cory.
Whitmer’s original story was that her trip was strictly “personal” to visit her ailing father, who owns a property in West Palm Beach.
More >> Breitbart