In addition to the incalculable damage that Hunter Biden is argued to have caused the United States, taxpayers can now add the very specific cost of President Joe Biden’s son’s protective detail’s luxury Malibu, California rental to their tab.
Sources familiar with the matter recently explained that Biden’s decision to live in an approximately $20,000 per month mansion forced the U.S. Secret Service to locate a property nearby to maintain their responsibilities sufficiently. As a result, ABC News reported, the security detail had been coughing up more than $30,000 per month for almost a year now.
“Typically, wherever a protectee sets up their residence, the Secret Service is forced to find someplace to rent nearby at market value,” retired senior Secret Service agent Don Mihalek told ABC News. Federal law mandates protection for the first family and anyone the president designates as needing protection.
Referring to it as the “cost of doing business for the Secret Service,” Mihalek went on, “This isn’t new. The Service has had to do this in past administrations, and unfortunately, the housing market right now has driven the prices up substantially.”
Reportedly, Biden’s Malibu residence includes four bedrooms and three bathrooms along with a pool and spa situated on less than an acre of land with ocean views. The Secret Service is occupying the property next door that has six bedrooms and six bathrooms listed as “a perfect retreat for discerning clientele.”
True to their profession, a representative for the Secret Service merely reported, “Due to the need to maintain operational security, the U.S. Secret Service does not comment on the means, methods, or resources used to conduct our protective operations.”
As Mihalek stated, this is not new and it is also not partisan. President Donald Trump’s Secret Service detail reported requiring an additional $60 million to protect the first family in 2016, ABC News detailed. $27 million of that was allocated for the detail at the president’s private residence in Trump Tower in New York City.
During President Barack Obama’s administration, first lady Michelle Obama cost taxpayers $319,000 between 2014 and 2016 for her annual trips to Aspen, and the Obama’s family 2016 trips to Martha’s Vineyard and Honolulu resulted in $2.7 million and $1.9 million in Secret Service expenses respectively.
Even campaigns for president have come at great cost to taxpayers over security detail with a 2016 Government Accountability Office report showing Hillary Clinton’s campaign was charging the Secret Service the highest rate to travel on the campaign’s plane.
The agency is supposed to calculate the “pro-rata” rate in comparison to the lowest available first-class seat and pay the lesser of the two. Clinton’s campaign had the Secret Service paying the higher rate regardless of a cheaper available option.
Her campaign ultimately had errors on one percent of its invoices. Trump had errors on two percent. Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) had errors with 18 percent of his invoices during his 2016 run for president.
President Biden has also been reported to charge the Secret Service $2,200 per month to stay in the cottage at his home in Delaware which brings up the key point that these arrangements ought to be reassessed.
Craig Holman, a lobbyist with Public Citizen, a progressive group with aims toward good government, told ABC News that families of presidents should open their homes to their protective detail.
“Hunter should recognize the exorbitant cost of his own protection in the exclusive Malibu neighborhood,” Holman said, “and cooperate with the Secret Service to bring down the expenses. A cost of $30,000 a month for the Secret Service to rent a home in Malibu next to Hunter is an unconscionable burden to taxpayers, all for the personal benefit of Hunter Biden.”
“Hunter should realize this,” Holman concluded, “and accommodate his security detail in his own home.”
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