Whitmer Forced To Step Down? Federal Investigation? Private Jet Scandal Spirals Out Of Control
The problem with telling lies is that once you start you must keep track of them or things start to fall apart. That is exactly what’s happening to Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D).
The Governor’s “personal” trip to Florida is threatening to put her political career on ice.
Whitmer like other governors in blue states imposed tough restrictions that crippled her state. Despite a ruling that her public health orders were unconstitutional she reimposed them again in October when cases spiked.
In April 2021, Whitmer criticized Michigander’s that traveled to Florida for spring break warning them to stay home. What she didn’t tell them was in March 2021 she traveled to Florida herself and when she traveled she wasn’t vaccinated for COVID-19.
News about the Florida trip broke around the same time two of Whitmer’s top aides were caught traveling to Florida and Alabama for spring break. Originally, Whitmer claimed her trip was for “personal” reasons, that claim may now kill her political career.
Originally, Whitmer said that her trip was personal and that she traveled “at her own expense,” the trip was to check on her mega rich father who was living in Palm Beach.
Whitmer’s father appears to be ok because not long after the trip he was seen in Lansing, Michigan shopping and driving his very expensive Tesla.
“It’s maddening,” the governor said of the mounting criticism and allegations of hypocrisy about her Florida trip, adding, “A lot of these same people would accuse me of not having family values if I didn’t show up when a family member needed some help.”
“It was certainly not spring break,” she said. “I was doing both my job as governor from a distance and being that of a daughter who was helping out a parent who needed a little help.”
Whitmer’s claim violated the Michigan Constitution, when she is “absent from the state” the lieutenant governor is in charge.
Then Whitmer generated more excuses that raised more questions than answers.
Quickly things began to unravel, especially after investigative reporter Charlie LeDuff revealed the circumstances surrounding Whitmer’s flight to Florida.
Whitmer flew on a chartered flight using a plane owned by Air Eagle, LLC, which is owned by three Detroit businessman.
“We wondered why she reached out to us instead of booking a private charter,” one of the owners said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “You can’t tell a governor no. Who needs that kind of trouble?”
LeDuff reported that the anonymous businessmen “have major dealings in and with the state of Michigan.”
Some speculate the flight was used by the businessman in exchange for one-on-one time with governor.
Whitmer’s office wouldn’t give any details surrounding the trip and never notified Florida law enforcement she was visiting the state.
Whitmer was later confronted by a television reporter and she snapped.
“I’ve said everything I’m going to say about my trip to go check on my father. It was a quick trip, it was an important family, uh, reason for doing it and I’ve got nothing to add,” Whitmer responded.
“This issue, governor, is your office has been very secretive about it. So the question is, why so secretive about it?” he continued.
“We don’t discuss my travel,” Whitmer answered about the trip that occurred two months earlier. “I’ve received an incredible number of death threats over the last year and a half. There are a lot of reasons that we don’t discuss how I travel and when I travel and that’s all I’m going to say,” she continued.
Here is where things got dicey, from Breitbart News:
Addressing the secrecy around how she got to Florida, Whitmer said, “This flight was not a gift. This flight was not paid for at taxpayer expense.” That was a shift from her original claim that she travel “at her own expense.”
Two days later, Whitmer’s office claimed her 501(c)(4) organization, a so-called “dark money” nonprofit originally created to fund Whitmer’s 2019 transition and inauguration activities, paid for the flight. This claim introduced a new element to the growing scandal: a potential violation of the IRS rules governing 501(c)(4) nonprofits.
Whitmer and her aides had been adamant that her trip was “personal,” but a 501(c)(4) nonprofit cannot pay for “personal” expenses. It can only pay for expenses incurred for organization-related activities.
“501(c)(4) groups are social welfare organizations and are not allowed to pay for personal expenses for officials,” Michigan Rising Action — itself a 501(c)(4) group — said in a news release.
On top of that a statement from the FAA indicated that Air Eagle, LLC may have violated their agreement with the FAA because the company is not approved to act as a charter service.
“Companies that operate charter flights must have a Part 135 certificate” from the agency. However, Air Eagle, LLC “does not have a Part 135 certificate,” said Elizabeth Isham Cory, spokeswoman for the FAA.
Things are getting out of control for Whitmer, we don’t know who she met with in Florida to justify the flight being covered by a 501(c)(4), we don’t know if the FAA open an investigation, and questions surround why Florida law enforcement wasn’t notified. Most concerning is that the unvaccinated governor of Michigan who demanded Michiganders not travel to Florida, travel herself to the sunshine to visit her very rich father as cases spiked.