Ben Carson's taxpayer-funded $31,000 dining set broke the law


The Government Accountability Office ruled that Carson's pricey dining room set violated the law.

The $31,561 dining room set that Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson purchased for his office was against the law, according to a ruling from the Government Accountability Office.

GAO General Counsel Thomas H. Armstrong wrote in a letter to Congress that Carson was required to notify Congress of the large purchase using taxpayer documents, but failed to do so, thus violating the law.

The GAO also ruled that Carson violated the law when he failed disclose an $8,812 purchase and installation of a new dishwasher and water treatment system in the kitchen connected to Carson's office.

"HUD did violate section 710 when it obligated $31,561.00 for the purchase of a dining set for the HUD Secretary's dining room and $8,812.84 for the purchase and installation of a new dishwasher and associated water treatment system in the kitchen connected to the dining room without providing advance notice to the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate," Armstrong wrote in the letter.

The dining room set Carson purchased made news in early 2018 for its high price tag and Carson's ever-changing reasoning for buying it.

In early March 2018, Carson said that "facilities people" at HUD felt the old dining set was "actually dangerous" and that because of that he didn't need to notify Congress for the purchase.

However, documents revealed that Carson's staff knew there was a reporting requirement despite what Carson said.

Carson is one of a number of Trump administration officials who spent tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on extravagant purchases and first-class travel.

For example on Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency Inspector General ruled that now-former EPA director Scott Pruitt spent $124,000 in "excessive" travel, and recommended that the EPA force Pruitt to pay it back.

Ultimately, Trump hasn't drained the swamp, as he promised. He filled it with officials who are recklessly spending taxpayers' hard-earned money.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.