New York Democrat faces scrutiny over travel spending amid COVID-19: Report

A top Democrat representing New York in the U.S. House of Representatives is facing scrutiny after financial disclosures showed he spent nearly $29,000 on travel expenses from April through December 2020, when the coronavirus was in full swing in America and while the congressman was urging his constituents to stay home to slow the spread of the disease.

News of the controversy comes by way of the Washington Free Beacon, which reports that Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), has raised eyebrows over the “unusual” expenses, particularly since many events were held virtually during that time period in light of COVID-19.

Maloney keeps quiet

According to the Free Beacon, recent disclosures show that the congressman’s “disbursements included nearly $20,000 in lease and insurance payments, more than $3,600 in collision repairs, nearly $2,200 in gas, more than $2,100 in rental car fees, and nearly $500 for a satellite radio subscription.”

The Free Beacon also reports that “candidates cannot use donor funds to pay for personal travel,” though it’s unclear whether that was the case here.

Still, reports note that Maloney’s expenses far outpaced that of other New York members of Congress, including Rep. Antonio Delgado (D-NY), who was said to have reported $0 in car-related travel expenses for 2020, despite the fact that his district is several times larger than Maloney’s, according to the New York Post.

Maloney is now facing calls, particularly from those on the right, to explain where all the money went.

The congressman didn’t respond to the Free Beacon’s or the Post‘s requests for comment, however.

He is not the subject of any ethics probes at this point.

What now?

Of course, Maloney is no stranger to ethics violations. At one point, the Democrat ran for New York attorney general while he was also running to keep his House seat.

In the process, he transferred over $1 million in federal funds to his state campaign account, leading to ethics complaints and at least one lawsuit, the Free Beacon reports.

More recently, Maloney came under fire for failing to report thousands in stock trades within the required 30 to 45 day period.

None of this, however, appears to have slowed down the Democrat’s political career.

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