House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recently thwarted junket to Belgium, Egypt, and Afghanistan received substantial media coverage after President Donald Trump banned her from utilizing military aircraft during the government shutdown.
However, Pelosi’s congressional delegation (CODEL) trip would not have been the first time she used funds allocated for the Air Force to travel the globe.
Per The Daily Caller:
Pelosi’s trip to Italy and Ukraine from July 30 to Aug. 6, 2015, cost the Air Force $184,587.81, according to documents released Saturday under a 2015 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit by Judicial Watch. Her delegation was made up of nine other members of Congress, including Democratic Reps. Anna Eshoo of California and Marcia Fudge of Ohio.
Four family members, including Pelosi’s husband Paul Pelosi, were on the trip. The delegation dined at restaurants including James Beard American Restaurant in Milan, where a five-course meal cost up to $190, according to Fine Dining Lovers. The lawmakers also toured the Vatican and met up with Italian dignitaries, including President Sergio Mattarella and then-Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, according to their itinerary.
Pelosi’s team apparently had some pretty specific requests for the Air Force officials working with them to coordinate the trip.
“You’re going lo love this …. CODEL Pelosi is requesting the crew they had on this earlier attached trip. Apparently they were very pleased with their service. I already told the escort chances were slim,” an unidentified Air Force official wrote in an email July 9, 2015.
Conservative watchdog Judicial Watch compared Pelosi’s European CODEL adventure to Sen. Cory Gardner’s (R-Colo.) CODEL trip to Asia around the same time. Gardner’s entire trip cost an estimated $26,009.03 according to records obtained by Judicial Watch.