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Records Show Ron Paul Trips Paid Twice

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Roll Call found evidence of Rep. Ron Paul being reimbursed twice for Congressional travel — once by taxpayers, once by other groups he controlled.

Paul filed articles of dissolution for Ron Paul & Associates Inc. in 2001 with the Texas secretary of state, but the company's corporate credit card was used for years afterward, the records show.

Benton suggested it was "possible" there could have been a second credit card Paul was using to book his official travel, but he offered no evidence to support that possibility.

The credit card statements reviewed by Roll Call include handwritten notations that indicate several organizations Paul's campaign, Liberty Political Action Committee ("Liberty PAC"), the Foundation for Rational Economics and Education and another nonprofit called the Liberty Committee would pay for many of the flights.

Documents indicate those organizations sent checks to American Express for those items, while Paul received payments from the House for the same expenses.

Paul's daughter, Lori Paul Pyeatt, was treasurer for the campaign, FREE and Liberty PAC. Liberty PAC's website says its "goal ... is to fund Congressman Ron Paul's political activities as he travels the country."

Paul's office declined Roll Call's request to make Pyeatt available for an interview.

Like other businesses, Members of Congress submit receipts for expenses to the House of Representatives administrative office for reimbursement. A source familiar with the process said these receipts are reviewed by House auditors and routine errors are found and corrected, but the office has no capacity to investigate whether a PAC or other entity is reimbursing the same expenses.

In 2009, the House changed the way it reports expenditures for Congressional travel in the quarterly public disclosures, eliminating details of who in the office traveled and where they went, making it impossible to track double-payments.

Still, using older House records and the credit card statements, Roll Call has identified more than 25 flights, totaling about $15,000, for which the dates, costs, airline companies and flight paths closely match reimbursements made by the House and Paul's other organizations.

Among the findings:

• On May 11, 2004, Paul's credit card was used to purchase a $323.60 plane ticket for him from Houston to Reagan National Airport departing May 17. Ten days later, the House paid Paul $323.60 for a flight from Houston to Reagan National Airport departing May 17. On June 29, Paul's campaign paid for the same flight, FEC filings show, along with a dinner at El Toro Mexican Restaurant and gasoline from a Texaco station in Houston expenses listed on the same credit card statement as the flight.

• On Sept. 23, 2003, Paul's card was used to buy a $646.50 round-trip plane ticket from D.C. to Houston, according to the credit card statements, which identify Paul as the passenger. About three weeks later, the House paid Paul $646.50 for the same flight. Ten days after that, his campaign paid for the ticket a second time, along with restaurant and gasoline purchases from the same credit card statement.

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