Rep. Sean Maloney said Wednesday he is beginning investigations into Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao after two separate reports found evidence she may be using her position to benefit her family’s shipping company and her husband, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Mr. Maloney, who sits on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and chairs that panel’s Marine Transportation subcommittee told MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” that he was given him “the greenlight to proceed with an inquiry on this subject.”
“We intend to get the facts about what happened. We’re not going to prejudge it, we’re going to be fair, but there are serious allegations that the Secretary of Transportation has used her position to benefit her family’s business, that’s the first story and to help her husband, that’s the second story. That’s wrong. It’s not politics as usual, it’s nepotism and the public deserves to know what the truth is,” the New York Democrat said.
An investigation has yet to officially begin into the reports.
The “first story” Mr. Maloney referenced is a New York Times report in early June that State Department officials raised concerns in a 2017 letter about Ms. Chao, saying she requested travel arrangements be made “for at least one” of her family members, as well as to include them along in official government meetings.
The other story is a Politico report that Ms. Chao had tapped a liaison between her office and Mr. McConnell’s, focused on assisting with grant applications for his home state of Kentucky.
The Department of Transportation denied both allegations to The Washington Times and Politico respectively.
“By virtue of her position in the Cabinet and who she is married to, the Secretary is a convenient target for those who oppose the work she is doing for the American people,” a DOT spokesperson commenting on background told The Times. “These disingenuous attacks are simply political hit jobs filled with innuendos that continue to be rejected every time they are recycled.”