The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) internal watchdog has launched an audit into Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s extensive use of private jets, according to a statement from the agency.
The investigation comes two months after a report by Fox News Digital, which revealed that Buttigieg had taken at least 18 flights using taxpayer-funded private jets since taking office in early 2021.
Buttigieg, who has advocated for aggressive action to combat climate change, has come under scrutiny for his use of private jets.
Flight records showed that he had taken government-managed private jets “even when commercial options were readily available.”
Caitlin Sutherland, the executive director of government watchdog group Americans for Public Trust (APT), which obtained Buttigieg’s internal calendar, praised the investigation.
“After Americans for Public Trust helped determine Secretary Buttigieg’s excessive use of taxpayer-funded government jets, we are pleased to see that his air travel is now under investigation,” Sutherland told Fox News Digital.
Buttigieg has used private jets for a variety of purposes, including promoting public works projects in Nevada, attending the Fifth Invictus Games in Europe with his husband Chasten Buttigieg, and participating in a tour highlighting grants authorized under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
The transportation secretary’s use of a Coast Guard plane to travel roundtrip from Washington, D.C., to Las Vegas in August 2021 drew particular criticism.
In addition, he used a private jet to fly to multiple swing states, including Florida, Ohio, and Nevada, during the “Building a Better America Tour.”