Donald Trump charged the Secret Service as much as five times the typical government rate to stay at his properties, records obtained by the House Oversight Committee reveal. The development is only the latest example of the former president using the office to enrich himself.
“The exorbitant rates charged to the Secret Service and agents’ frequent stays at Trump-owned properties raise significant concerns about the former President’s self-dealing and may have resulted in a taxpayer-funded windfall for former President Trump’s struggling businesses,” Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) wrote to Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle, The Washington Post reported on Monday.
The committee obtained records showing the Trump Organization overcharged the Secret Service to stay at Trump properties on at least 40 occasions, including once instance in which they charged the agency $1,185 per night to protect Donald Trump Jr. when the government rate was $201.
The Trump Organization charged the Secret Service at total of $1.4 million to accommodate agents protecting the president and his family, which means $1.4 million in taxpayer money went directly to the president’s private company. Trump visited his properties constantly while in office, including making 145 trips to Mar-a-Lago — the Palm Beach, Florida, estate where he hoarded hundreds of classified documents after leaving the White House.
“Given the long-standing concerns surrounding the former President’s conflicts of interest and efforts to profit off the presidency, the committee has a strong interest in obtaining a complete accounting of federal government spending at Trump properties,” Maloney continued. “The Committee continues to examine potential legislation to prevent presidential self-dealing and profiteering, as well as to curb conflicts of interest by ensuring that future presidents are prevented from exercising undue influence on Secret Service spending.”