The Minnesota GOP wants the House ethics committee to investigate charges that Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison failed to report the cost of a pilgrimage to Mecca paid for by an Muslim group that receives government cash.
Ellison, the first Muslim to serve in Congress, traveled to the Saudi holy city shortly before the inauguration — a trip paid for by he Muslim American Society of Minnesota, which has been paid about $900,000 to house a an Islamic-themed charter school.
On Thursday, the Star-Tribune reported that Ellison disclosed that the trip was paid for by a third party but didn’t report it as a gift, which would have required a cost estimate.
Ellison told the paper he complied with all the rules — but the Minnesota GOP seized on the fact that the Muslim American Society received taxpayer cash.
"Rep. Ellison’s actions and stonewalling are clearly wrong and he should apologize to the people of Minnesota," wrote deputy party chairman Michael Brodkorb . "Taxpayer money intended for students must never be used for a politician’s personal travel. To avoid the appearance of inappropriate use of taxpayer money, he should return the funds immediately."
A call to Ellison’s office Friday morning wasn’t immediately returned.