We’ve always known that Donald Trump personally sought to profit from the presidency, whether by receiving foreign government salaries (aka rewards) or Scheduling a G-7 meeting at his golf club. Recently, we learned more about the true extent of his violence – Exorbitant amounts charged by taxpayers to Secret Service agents To stay in his hotels and clubs. On paper, the agents’ job was to protect him and his family. In fact, they had a second job: getting the taxpayer to pay him a lot of money (our money) at the same time. But we taxpayers have no way to stop the Trump scam.
While the government has long paid for Secret Service agents to travel with and protect the president and first family, only one president has made money renting rooms to protect him. On Monday, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform released forms showing room rates more than five times what is allowed for federal employees. Some of these bills were incurred directly in Washington, where the president stayed in the White House and would have guests overnight. When his sons Don Jr and Eric visited him, they chose not to stay in the White House but in a hotel – the Trump Hotel, of course.
We taxpayers are not without ways to stop the Trump scam.
Taxpayers were charged $1,160 for a room per night at the Trump International Hotel in Washington for Secret Service agents protecting Eric Trump on March 8, 2017, the night the government rate was $242. taxpayers Paid $1,185 per room per night For agents protecting Donald Trump Jr. on November 8, 2017 at the Trump Hotel, at a time when the government rate was $201. For most of the descendants of presidential presidents, being guarded by Secret Service agents would be enough of a thrill. For the Trump family, making money at the expense of taxpayers seemed to be an even bigger thrill.
Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney, DNY, recently wrote a letter to the Secret Service to request more information about these stays. Her letter explained that Trump visited his properties more than 500 times while in office, and noted that early in his tenure, “the Secret Service mandated additional flexibility for expenditures during protective duties, including daily expenses in excess of the government rate.” Yes, hotel rooms that cost $1000 per night need a great deal of “flexibility”.
Maloney concluded, “Records show that the Secret Service spent more than $1.4 million on residence at Trump-owned properties in the United States from January 20, 2017, through September 15, 2021.” That’s a lot of money – our money.
There are multiple ways to restore Trump profiteering at the expense of the federal government — or at least prevent it in the future. First, his actions were in violation of the Constitution’s Domestic Wage Clause, which states that a president cannot receive compensation from the states or the federal government beyond his or her salary and pension set by Congress.
There are multiple ways to restore Trump’s profit at the expense of the federal government – or at least prevent it again in the future.
As with the foreign bonus clause, the local wage clause It does not provide an enforcement mechanism. Representative Jimmy Raskin D-Md. Submit a bill In 2018, that would have enforced the local bonus clause by stemming the flow of federal money to Trump’s properties, but Republicans made sure the bill didn’t get anywhere. However, in the lame-duck session at the end of the year, Democrats can throw their weight behind Foreign and Domestic Wage Enforcement LawAnd the Introduced by Senator Richard Blumenthal last year.
Another approach would be False Claims Act, which imposes liability on anyone who knowingly makes false allegations to the government and stipulates that violators are liable for triple damages plus a fine. Simply charging the government more than the usual government rate for hotel rooms may violate the law, but any misrepresentation of material facts made in connection with Secret Service clearances, or in any other part of the billing process, could be a violation. Acknowledgments that the Trump Organization has imposed “market rates,” or that cheaper alternative accommodations are not available in the area, for example, may amount to fraud. In this case, the Department of Justice can – and should – add the Trump Organization to The long list of suspects that have been prosecuted under this Act for defrauding the Federal Government.
While the government should file lawsuits against the Trump Organization to return the exorbitant sums paid to Chambers during the Trump presidency, it is also important to restore the precedent for prohibiting such behavior. Since former presidents and some family members are also entitled to Secret Service protection, these practices could easily continue beyond Trump’s presidency, costing taxpayers millions more in the years to come. From now on, the Secret Service must not pay any Trump hotel or club any amounts above the federal rate. Whenever possible, Secret Service agents protecting Trump should stay in hotels not owned by the Trump family.
There is of course another, cheaper alternative: Secret Service protection for A former president is an imprisoned federal inmate. Given the seriousness of the crimes committed during the Trump presidency, particularly between the 2020 elections and January 6, 2021, I have urged elsewhere that Criminal proceedings against President Trump begin. If a criminal trial ends badly for Trump, perhaps future Secret Service arrangements could be on the estate recommended by the Bureau of Prisons. The Federal Chamber rate will certainly be sufficient.