The Trump Organization has at times charged the Secret Service more than five times the government rate to stay at properties owned by Donald Trump while the agency protected him and his family, according to documents obtained by Congress.
In total, the Secret Service spent at least $1.4 million in tax dollars on Trump Organization hotels and other properties out of 669 expenditures between January 2017 and September 2021, the committee chair wrote. of Oversight and House Reform, Carolyn Maloney, in a letter Monday to Kimberly Cheatle, the director of the Secret Service.
Maloney, DN.Y., wrote in his letter to Cheatle that the Secret Service provided only a partial accounting of when its agents stayed at Trump properties and how much the agents paid.
Some of the trips took place while agents accompanied Trump’s children, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump and his stepdaughter, Lara Trump, according to Maloney.
The oversight committee has requested documents and details about Trump agency spending in 2020, citing “disturbing” reports of “exorbitant charges” by the former president’s properties.
Donald Trump did not divest from his companies when he took office, although he said his sons were in charge – an arrangement that has since drawn attention and criticism from Democrats and experts in ethics.
According to records the Secret Service has since provided to the Oversight Committee, Maloney wrote Monday, “The Trump Organization has charged the Secret Service a daily rate above the government daily rate at least 40 times since the administration began. Trump until Sept. 15, 2021. In several cases, the rates charged were more than three times the daily rate.
Maloney wrote that the Secret Service granted at least 40 exceptions when agents paid above the accepted rate at Trump properties. But she wrote that there may have been other instances of higher rates than accepted for which officers did not seek an exemption.
Maloney noted that the charges contradict previous statements by Trump Organization officials, such as when Eric Trump, the president’s second son, said in 2019, “If my dad is traveling, they [government employees] stay free at our properties, that is, for example, the cost of housekeeping.”
The following year, in response to a Washington Post article about fees charged to the Secret Service by the Trump Organization, Eric Trump said in a statement, “We provide the rooms at cost and could make a lot more money. by renting them to members or guests.”
On Monday, Maloney wrote that records obtained by the committee disputed that.
“Despite claims by the Trump Organization that federal employees traveling with the former president would stay at Trump properties ‘for free’ or ‘for a fee,’ new information … shows the former president’s company billed Secret Service excessive nightly rates on dozens of trips,” she wrote.
The acceptable government rate is based on an average of daily hotel prices based on location and season, Maloney wrote.
In one example from 2017, Maloney wrote, agents were charged $1,185 per room per night at the Trump International Hotel in Washington.
Maloney wrote that there were, however, two gaps in what the Secret Service had provided to the committee: data on what the agency paid while staying at Trump Organization properties overseas, and data on four trips to Mar-a-Lago in Florida.
There are records of government spending on the Secret Service while Trump was abroad: In July 2018, the State Department spent approximately $70,000 on behalf of the agency for a Scottish hotel stay of Trump.
Separately, the State Department spent at least $38,500 at the Trump Hotel in Vancouver, including about $15,000 for rooms for Secret Service agents in February 2017.
In a statement released Monday, Eric Trump, executive vice president of the Trump Organization, said “all services rendered to the United States Secret Service or other government agencies at Trump-owned properties, were at their demand and were either provided at cost, heavily discounted, or free.”
“The company would have been much better off if the hospitality services had been sold to paying customers, however, the company did everything possible to accommodate the agencies to ensure that they were able to do their job at the highest level,” continued Eric Trump. . “They are incredible men and women.”
Eric Trump insisted his father “funded the vast majority of his campaign with hundreds of millions of dollars of his own money and turned down billions of dollars in real estate deals around the world after winning the Republican primary “.
In a separate statement, a Secret Service spokesperson said the agency “has received a letter from the House Oversight Committee requesting information regarding protection-related hotel costs, and the agency will respond directly. to the committee with the requested information”.
The cost of the Secret Service to presidential families has made headlines beyond Trump. Earlier this year, ABC News reported that agents paid more than $30,000 a month for a residence in Malibu, Calif., near where President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was staying.
ABC News’ Luke Barr and John Santucci contributed to this report.