Trump Org excessively charged Secret Service for hotel stays, House panel reveals

Trump Org excessively charged Secret Service for hotel stays, House panel reveals

Former President Donald Trump’s company charged the Secret Service excessive nightly hotel rates on dozens of trips, according to new documents released Monday by the House Oversight Committee.

“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,” the Oversight panel’s chair, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), wrote in a nine-page letter to the Secret Service pressing for more information.

The Secret Service was charged in excess of the government-allowed rate when Eric Trump, the former president’s son and executive vice president of the Trump Organization, stayed in Washington, D.C. at the Trump-owned hotel with his wife Lara Trump, the House panel said. Citing new documents from the Secret Service, the Oversight Committee disclosed five stays at about three times the allowed rate.

When Donald Trump Jr. stayed at the Trump-owned hotel in Washington in 2017, the Secret Service was billed $1,185 a night, nearly six times the allowed per diem rate of $201 per night, according to the records released Monday. And when the then-president stayed at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, the Secret Service detail was charged nightly rates that were “nearly double” the per diem rate, the records showed.

The revelations come as Maloney seeks more answers from the Secret Service about taxpayer dollars spent at Trump Organization properties. She suggested in her letter that the records received by the committee were an incomplete snapshot of the agency’s expenses.

Her latest inquiry is part of a long-running Oversight Committee investigation into allegations Trump personally profited from the presidency and created potential conflicts of interest through the Trump Organization’s businesses. Maloney gave the Secret Service until Oct. 31 to produce more information, including a full list of Secret Service stays at Trump Organization properties, the total amount paid by the agency for each stay and the nightly rate paid, among other documents.

The panel argued the records that it has unearthed contradicted previous claims by Eric Trump that federal employees traveling with Donald Trump — such as Secret Service agents — would stay “for free” or “at cost.” The Secret Service is given the authority to exceed government rates because of their protective missions, but its employees are required to document the request by filling out a “variance request,” many of which the House panel obtained during its inquiry.

The Trump Organization and the Secret Service did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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Author: By Nicholas Wu