Donald Trump cost taxpayers $1.7 million by providing his adult children and three officials with six months of Secret Service protection after he left office, according to a Washington Post analysis of new spending documents.
Before leaving office, Trump triggered a highly unusual order, the paper said, giving extra protection to his four adult children, Donald Trump Jr., 43, Ivanka, 39, and Eric, 37, and Tiffany, 27.
Ivanka’s husband, Jared Kushner, was also granted protection, as was Eric’s wife, Lara.
Trump’s protection order also included three officials; former Secretary to the Treasury Steve Mnuchin, former chief of staff Mark Meadows, and former national security adviser Robert C. O’Brien.
Under law, the Secret Service provides protection for former presidents and spouses for life, as well as their children until they turn 16.
In recent years, former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton have extended it to include college-aged children for a short time after leaving office, The Washington Post said.
However, Trump ordered the Secret Service to devote time and resources to protecting seven wealthy adults, the paper said.
During the six months, the Secret Service spent around $347,000 on airfare, hotels, and rental cars protecting Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, according to the records seen by The Washington Post.
It included vacations to Hawaii, Utah ski county, a Wyoming ranch, and Kiawah Island in South Carolina, the paper said.
Secret Service agents also spent $9,000 on hotel rooms accompanying Kushner on a trip to the United Arab Emirates in May, citing federal spending data posted online.
The cost of protecting Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. was $241,000 and $213,000, respectively. The Washington Post said the brothers primarily traveled between New York and South Florida, with occasional trips elsewhere.
Tiffany Trump was the cheapest to protect, with partial records showing that the Secret Service spent $56,000 while protecting her, the paper reported.
Several of the payments were made to Trump’s own company. Agents were billed for the rooms they used while protecting his children, the paper reported.
Since leaving office, the former president has lived full-time at his properties and has also charged the Secret Service for rooms, the paper said.
Jordan Libowitz, a spokesman for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, told The Washington Post that the charges, although small, indicated a moral choice for the Trump family.
“The patriotic thing would obviously be not charging the government to stay at your properties and not profiting or profiteering off the government,” Libowitz told the paper.
Of the three officials included in the protection order, Mnuchin was the most expensive to guard, costing the Secret Service $479,000.
This included accompanying Mnuchin on three trips to the Middle East and staying at luxurious hotels, the paper reported.
Mnuchin is a multimillionaire in his own right, with an estimated $400 million fortune, according to Forbes.
“If you’d asked me if he’d run again in December, I would have said definitely not because he had just been humiliated and wouldn’t put himself in that position again,” she said. “But things have changed.”
Mary Trump told Insider that her uncle’s recent behavior is indicative of someone trying to rehabilitate their reputation in time for a presidential race. “He’s still spreading his ‘Big Lie,'” she said. This refers to a phrase used to describe Republican misinformation about the 2020 election.
The “most troubling” sign that her uncle intends to run for president, Mary Trump continued, is that there are “hundreds of voter suppression bills” winding their way through state legislatures.
According to the Brennan Center for Justice, as of June 21, 2021, 17 states have enacted 28 new laws that restrict access to the vote. At least 61 bills with restrictive voting provisions are now moving through 18 state legislatures, the public policy institute’s research said.
“If the Republicans in any given state can make it harder or impossible for certain kinds of people to vote, like people of color or college students, then Donald might realize that if he ran again, he couldn’t lose because the system would have been rigged to favor him,” Mary Trump said.
She added that her uncle is unlikely to participate in a race he doesn’t think he’d be able to win. “He’s a coward and he’ll never engage in a fair fight,” she said. “He’ll only engage if he’s convinced that through cheating, lying, and stealing that he can win.”
The now-ostracized family member told Insider that “legal jeopardy,” specifically the New York criminal investigation into the Trump organization, could both incentivize and hamper his ability to run.
“Remember, he’s 75, not in good health, and there are the criminal investigations into him,” she said. “Hopefully, something will interfere with his ability to run but, if all things are equal, he will.”
“The only thing you can really say about Donald is that he does have a kind of charisma that appeals, apparently, to … people in this country,” she said. “There’s nobody else on the right who has that charisma, and certainly none of his children.”
Mary Trump said that she believes Ivanka Trump, her first cousin, is focused on other pursuits. “I think she and her husband are more interested in staying away long enough in the hopes that people forget what horrible human beings they are, and then they have this fantasy that they’re going to be able to reemerge into New York high society or something,” she remarked.
Mary Trump’s latest book, “The Reckoning: Our Nation’s Trauma and Finding a Way To Heal,” was published in August by St. Martin’s Press.
One sentence in the Manhattan District Attorney’s 15-count indictment against the Trump Organization suggests more people affiliated with the ex-president’s family company could face charges in the future, according to a former prosecutor.
Thursday’s indictment alleged the Trump Organization and CFO Allen Weisselberg participated in a yearslong scheme to avoid paying taxes on $1.7 million worth of compensation. Both Weisselberg and attorneys for the Trump Organization pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.
Randy Zelin, a former New York state prosecutor, told Insider the charging documents included a sentence that offered a clue about other people who may have been involved in the alleged tax scheme.
“One of the largest individual beneficiaries of the defendants’ scheme was Allen Weisselberg,” the indictment reads.
Zelin, now a defense attorney at Wilk Auslander LLP, said prosecutors’ use of the word “individual” suggests other people – not just corporations – benefited from the Trump Organization’s alleged tax avoidance scheme.
“The government could have said he was the only one, right? The government didn’t have to use the word ‘individual,'” Zelin said. “The fact that the government inserted the word ‘individual’ means that there may be others who enjoy perks.”
“The fact that the government said ‘one of the largest’ – that by its very nature means other people were doing the same or doing similar,” he added.
The indictment describes an ongoing tax avoidance scheme that prosecutors allege began in 2005. Former President Donald Trump personally led the company until 2017, and then turned over leadership to Weisselberg and his two eldest sons, Eric and Donald Trump Jr., who have disparaged the investigation as politically motivated.
Zelin noted that the Trump Organization closed ranks around Weisselberg after he was charged, suggesting the executive wasn’t a rogue actor in the alleged tax avoidance scheme.
“If he had done this on his own, he would have then have been cheating the Trump Organization,” Zelin said. “Not only wasn’t he terminated, not only was he not suspended pending further investigation, not only was he not suspended once he was indicted – but apparently he’s gone back to work since his indictment.”
“Every single day that Biden messes up our nation, I think it further incentivizes my father and frankly our entire family to do it again,” he said.
“We’re going to walk through that door, I’m telling you. We’re going to walk through that door,” Trump added.
Trump has repeatedly suggested that he is considering a run for presidential office in 2024 since leaving the White House in January, and continues to exercise significant influence over the Republican party.
The former president’s son, the executive vice-president of the Trump Organization, went onto claim that a combination of factors meant that Biden was making the prospect of a Trump victory in 2024 “easy.”
They included what he said was a “lack of respect” shown by Russian President Vladimir Putin towards President Biden at a summit between the two leaders last week. In fact, Putin after the meeting pushed back on Russian disinformation which suggested that Biden was mentally unwell, and praised him.
Eric Trump and his wife Lara are the latest members of their famous family to scoop up premium real estate in south Florida.
The couple bought a mansion in Jupiter, Florida, located in Palm Beach County, for $3.2 million in March, property records show. A December real estate listing for the five-bed, seven-bathroom property said it was the largest home in the Trump National Golf Club gated community.
“Breathtaking preserve & golf views surround this luxurious, completely renovated, private estate home located on the largest lot in the exclusive gated community of Trump National Golf Club,” it said. “The exterior has been designed like a Tuscany estate while the interior has a transitional contemporary feel.”
The listing, which features photos of the property, also says the home has two master bedrooms, his and hers closets, and a safe room, as well as a backyard with a pool, kitchen, and a full cabana bath.
The Trump National Golf Club is owned by Eric Trump’s father and former president Donald Trump, who bought the club from Ritz-Carlton in 2012.
The community is next door to another luxurious gated community, Admirals Cove, where Don Jr. and his girlfriend, former Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, spent $9.7 million on a six-bedroom, 11-bathroom waterfront mansion.
Donald Trump also relocated to Palm Beach, Florida, after leaving office, and took up residence at his Mar-a-Lago resort along with his wife, Melania, and son Barron. Though Insider’s Tom LoBianco reported the family is temporarily relocating to Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, for the summer.
Former first daughter Ivanka Trump has also settled in Florida, further south in Miami. Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner spent $32 million in December on an empty lot in a private island community known as Miami’s ‘Billionaire Bunker.’ The couple is staying in a luxury oceanfront rental until their new home is ready, The Miami Herald reported.
US taxpayers paid Donald Trump’s resorts in Ireland and Scotland in 2017 for previously undisclosed visits by his family and the Secret Service, The Scotsman reported, providing further evidence of how the former president’s family benefited from his time in office.
The Scotsman’s report was based on invoices and spending records obtained by American Oversight, a Washington-based ethics watchdog.
They showed previously undisclosed expenses which included a $7,500 invoice from Trump’s Turnberry resort in Scotland dated August 14, 2017.
It is unclear who visited Turnberry that month, The Scotsman reported, but Trump’s son Eric had flown to Scotland the previous month to play golf at his father’s resorts.
The newly disclosed expenses included a $7,365 invoice from Trump’s Doonbeg resort in Ireland dated July 22 and 23, 2017 to cover the cost of Secret Service accommodation. There was another $9,300 invoice from the Doonbeg resort to cover Secret Service accommodation in April 2017 during a separate trip by Eric.
The records also show US taxpayers were charged thousands of dollars for luxury car rentals during Eric Trump’s visit.
The executive director of American Oversight, Austin Evers, told the Scotsman: “No-one objects to the Trump family receiving Secret Service protection, but every time they charge their security detail to stay at a Trump hotel, thousands of taxpayer dollars line their pockets.”
The latest disclosures represent a wider pattern of Trump’s record of charging taxpayers for stays at his own resorts during his time in office.
Hunter Biden has reignited a long-standing feud with the Trump children, calling them out for “(reaping) the benefits of their family name.”
In his new memoir, “Beautiful Things,” Biden calls the Trump kids – Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump – out for not being able to get a job outside of their father’s business.
“I’ve worked for someone other than my father, rose and fell on my own,” Biden wrote.
He acknowledged that his own last name was a “coveted credential,” but accused the former president’s children of suggesting that their millions were self-made, and not benefits of carrying the Trump family name.
“Do you think if any of the Trump children ever tried to get a job outside of their father’s business that his name wouldn’t figure into the calculation? My response has always been to work harder so that my accomplishments stand on their own,” Biden said.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office, led by Cyrus Vance Jr., first sought Trump’s tax documents since it opened an investigation into his finances in 2017.
The precise scope of the investigation is unclear, but court filings suggest that Vance’s office is looking into whether the former president’s tax filings amounted to criminal tax fraud. If Trump were to be indicted for financial crimes, the tax returns would no doubt be a centerpiece for the charges.
Vance’s office is also reportedly looking into whether Donald Trump, Jr. and Allen Weisselberg, the former chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, were involved in wrongdoing.
The investigation was first triggered after Michael Cohen, a former executive of the Trump Organization and personal lawyer to Trump, told Congress he used the company’s funds for hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels, an adult-film actress who claims she had sex with Trump in 2006. Vance is looking into whether those payments broke laws as well.
Chief among the issues is whether – as Cohen testified – Trump kept two sets of books for his finances: One for favorable loan deals and another for low tax rates.
Jeff Robbins, a former attorney for the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations and federal prosecutor overseeing money-laundering probes, said keeping two sets of books could lead to a number of serious financial crimes.
“Inconsistency is not a crime. The intent to defraud is a crime,” Robbins told Insider. “What a prosecutor is going to be looking at is: Did Trump seek to defraud the government of the United States with respect to the valuation of assets and the paying of taxes? Was there an intent to defraud banks?”
Trump has gone to great lengths to keep his tax returns secret despite saying he wants to make them public
In January 2017, Trump held a press conference with his three eldest children and pointed to a large pile of papers that he said showed he was withdrawing from the Trump Organization and giving all control over to Eric Trump and Donald Trump, Jr. He has never permitted reporters to look at those purported documents.
A 2020 investigation from The New York Times found and analyzed nearly two decades’ worth of Trump’s returns. It cited major revelations, including:
Trump paid $0 in federal taxes for the majority of the years reviewed and $750 during his first two years as president. At the same time, he paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes to foreign governments.
He received tens of millions of dollars from foreign sources.
$300 million in loans are due to be paid back over the next several years.
He vastly overstated his charitable giving.
He has been involved in a yearslong battle with the IRS over a $73 million refund, which he may owe back to the federal government.
The subpoenas will also enable Vance to obtain other documents related to Trump’s taxes, including communications between the Trump Organization and its accountants at the accounting firm Mazars USA, as well as questions, complaints, concerns, instructions, and arguments for how to value certain assets.
Robbins described these documents as “a potential treasure trove of admissions.”
“I’m sure prosecutors are looking at all sorts of contradictions in those documents,” Robbins, now the co-chair of the Congressional Investigations practice at Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, told Insider.
“If the taxpayer had taken a totally different position with respect to the asset in some other place, that would be very strong evidence of an intent to defraud,” he added.
Deutsche Bank, the Trump Organization’s chief lender, and Aon, its insurance broker, have already cooperated with Vance’s investigation, according to The New York Times.
Trump is also subject to at least two other financial investigations
The House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee is also seeking to obtain Trump’s tax returns as part of an investigation into whether he interfered with the IRS’s audit program.
It is not clear if the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, which oversees federal prosecutions in Manhattan, is also looking into Trump’s finances. It successfully obtained a guilty plea from Michael Cohen in 2018 for campaign-finance violations related to the Stormy Daniels hush-money payments.
And just because Vance will get Trump’s tax returns doesn’t mean everyone else will.
Under New York state law, evidence obtained for a grand jury – as Vance is doing here – must be kept under seal unless the case goes to court. Both James and the House have been mired in their own court challenges over Trump’s returns. Rep. Richard Neal, the chairman of the House committee, has cited Vance’s recent Supreme Court win as a mark of confidence that he’ll succeed in his own lawsuit.
James, the state attorney general, has been involved with several tangles with Trump, his family, and his company over financial matters.
In 2019, she secured a settlement with Trump and his children where they paid a $2 million fine and were barred from serving on charity boards in the state. The Trump Foundation, which was dissolved as part of the settlement, had used funds to bolster Trump’s political fortunes and for the then-candidate’s personal image.
A separate probe from James’ office is looking into whether the Trump Organization has misrepresented its assets, including the value and use of its properties, for tax benefits. The office interviewed Eric Trump, the current chief executive of the Trump Organization, in October.
Trump, his family members, and the Trump Organization have all denied wrongdoing.
Vance is not expected to run for reelection as Manhattan’s District Attorney this year. He recently hired Mark Pomerantz, a former mob prosecutor, to oversee the Trump team and ensure its continuity under a new administration.
The investigations into Trump’s finances aren’t the only legal perils he’s facing. He, his company, political operation, and numerous other businesses and organizations he’s affiliated with are staring down a tsunami of investigations. He also faces numerous civil lawsuits related to his business practices and sexual-assault accusations.
Former President Donald Trump extended Secret Service protections for all of his adult children and their spouses, as well as three top administration officials, just before leaving the White House, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
The taxpayer-funded security will be extended to Trump’s four adult children and their spouses – Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and wife Lara Trump, and Tiffany Trump, three people familiar with the president’s request told The Post. Trump’s grandchildren will also be included in the protections deriving from that of their parents.
Former Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and former National Security Advisor Robert C. O’Brien were also granted Secret Service protections by the president, according to The Post report.
Typically, Trump and his wife Melania are automatically granted the expensive 24-hour protection for their lifetimes, and their 14-year-old son Barron will receive such protections until the age of 16. Former Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen Pence are also entitled to full-time security detail post-administration for the next six months.
Trump isn’t the first president to extend Secret Service protections to those who aren’t automatically entitled to receive them. Former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush granted security details to their college-age daughters for a period of time following their terms. Former President Barack Obama extended protections to his daughters Sasha and Malia after he left office, who were in high school and college respectively.