Democrats think they have David Vitter dead to rights. Travel records, they say, indicate that Vitter’s one-time aide Brent Furer twice used taxpayer money to travel to Louisiana to defend himself in court on drunk driving charges. Those same records suggest that Furer seldom traveled to Louisiana on congressional business.
A TPM survey of records from Vitter’s Senate office finds that Furer made just six official trips from DC to New Orleans while working for Vitter. Two of those trips coincide with court dates alone. Two others were to attend a Vittter staff retreat (one of which also overlapped with a court date). One, in August 2007, coincides with the emergence of Vitter’s prostitution scandal, and the sixth took place from April 29 through May 3, 2005.That contradicts Vitter’s official response to the suggestion that Furer attended court dates on the taxpayer dime. In a statement to the Advocate in Baton Rouge, Vitter spokesman Joel DiGrado, said Vitter was unaware of the drunk driving charges at the time, and added “It is standard for our Washington legislative staff to visit Louisiana periodically for meetings.”
Furer, it turns out, almost never went to Louisiana on official business in the five years he worked for Vitter — and half the time he did, it just happened to coincide with one of his court dates.