The Treasury Department recently confirmed the office of inspector general is investigating Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over the controversial migrant flight to Martha's Vineyard.
Last month, the Republican governor caused uproar when he sent dozens of migrants to Martha's Vineyard. Accused of everything from political theater to human trafficking, DeSantis defended the flight as the Biden administration fails to adequately respond to the border crisis.
What is going on?
Richard Delmar, deputy inspector general of the Treasury Department, confirmed in a letter dated Oct. 7 that his office is investigating whether DeSantis improperly used COVID-19 pandemic relief funds to finance the migrant flight.
Delmar explained in the letter:
As part of its oversight responsibilities for the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, The Treasury Office of the Inspector General has audit work planned on recipients' compliance with eligible use guidance. In addition, as part of our oversight work of the Coronavirus Relief Fund established by the CARES Act, we have already sought information from Florida about appropriate use of that fund.
"We will review the allowability of use of SLFRF funds related to immigration generally, and will specifically confirm whether interest earned on SLFRF funds was utilized by Florida related to immigration activities, and if so, what conditions and limitations apply to such use," Delmar added.
The investigation comes after Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and other Massachusetts lawmakers demanded an investigation.
Specifically, DeSantis is accused of using a $12 million account funded from interest earned from COVID-19 relief funds to finance the migrant flight. The account was established by Florida lawmakers to "facilitate the transport of unauthorized aliens out of Florida."
According to the Washington Post, the COVID relief funds in question "came with few restrictions" and the "government imposed virtually no rules on the interest generated on that money while it remained unspent."
What was the reaction?
Markey celebrated the news and regurgitated unproven accusations that migrants were "lured" onto the flight "under false pretenses."
"I applaud the swift response from the Treasury’s Office of the Inspector General," he said. "For the sake of the migrants who were lured onto charter planes under false pretenses ... hope that this investigation sheds light on whether Governor DeSantis misused funds that were intended for COVID relief for Floridians."
DeSantis' office has not yet responded.