Hunter Biden is apparently spending his father’s presidency living a luxurious life in Malibu – and so is his taxpayer-funded security account.
Details of the Secret Service to protect the president’s controversial son have been paying more than $ 30,000 a month to rent an extraordinary Malibu palace in California for nearly a year, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.
The agency responsible for protecting the president and his family – among other ranking government officials – has selected the property to be located as close as possible to Biden’s own rented mansion where he is paying about $ 20,000 a month according to the property list, sources told ABC News.
Retired senior Secret Service agent Don Mihalek, now a contributor to ABC News, says the arrangement is “the cost of doing business for the Secret Service,” adding that under federal law, the agency has a mandatory defense responsibility for the president, first the family, and anyone else. Nominated by the President for protection.
“Typically, wherever a security guard sets up their residence, the Secret Service is forced to find somewhere to rent near market prices,” Mihalek said, adding that the agency is also renting property to protect President Joe Biden’s residences in Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach. , Delaware.
“It’s not new,” Mihalek said. “The service has had to do this in past administrations, and unfortunately, the housing market has pushed up prices significantly at the moment.”
A White House official referred ABC News to the Secret Service for comment. When asked about the cost of security, a Secret Service representative simply said: “Because of the need to maintain operational security, the US Secret Service does not comment on the methods, procedures or resources used to conduct our defense operations.”
A spokesman for Hunter Biden declined to comment on ABC News’ request for comment.
Hunter Biden’s California lifestyle is coming into focus just as his federal investigation into the tax has intensified, sources familiar with the matter recently told ABC News.
A growing number of witnesses have appeared before a grand jury in Wilmington, Delaware in recent months, sources said, and were asked about the payments Hunter Biden received while serving on the board of the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma. In other questions about how Biden has paid his tax liabilities in recent years.
Hunter Biden told ABC News anchor Amy Robach in October 2019 about her role on the Burismar board and the impact of her foreign business dealings on her father’s political career. . “Do I think it was a weak verdict because I don’t believe it now, when I look back at it – I know it was there – nothing went wrong. Anyway, was it a weak verdict in the middle? Something that … A wetland – in – many ways? Yes. “
When Joe Biden was elected Democratic president in June 2020, Biden, along with other members of the Biden family, began receiving 24-hour protection from the Secret Service. The family was given a stronger protection when they grew up. Biden won the presidency, which is customary for all members of the president’s family.
In Malibu, Hunter Biden’s excavations include a four-bedroom, three-bathroom “resort-style” house with an open floor plan, arched high ceilings, a chef’s kitchen and French doors, according to a description of its property list. According to the list, the palace has a “spacious park-like courtyard” with a pool, a spa, a built-in barbecue bar and Alfresco dining.
The property is located on 0.7 acres of land on a hill, and the 180-degree panoramic sea view is proud to be “discussed”, the list said.
The side door where sources say Biden’s team of Secret Service agents is living and working.
The Spanish-style estate rented by the Secret Service sits on a 0.7-acre site off the coast of Malibu and has a list of “excellent sea views”.
Six bedrooms, six bathrooms, a gym, a testing room, a built-in barbecue, a pool, a spa and a spiral staircase leading to the “castle-like tower at the master retreat with wet bars.” The luxury mansion boasts of “the best lifestyle in resort style” and lists it as “a perfect retreat for discerning clients.”
The cost of protecting the first families has raised eyebrows in the past.
In the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency, the Secret Service requested $ 60 million in additional funding to protect Trump and his family, with about $ 27 million going to protect their private homes in the Trump Tower in New York City, according to internal agency documents obtained by the Washington Post at the time.
During Trump’s entire presidency, his family business came under fire for charging for space on various Trump properties used by agents to protect Trump and his family members around the world to bring in revenue from the Secret Service.
It is difficult to estimate the total amount the Secret Service has paid for Trump’s family business so far, but according to an analysis by the Washington Post, records released so far show that the Secret Service has spent at least 1.2 million. While protecting the Trump family, various Trump properties range from $ 650 per night for a room at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club to $ 17,000 a month for a cottage at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey.
Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., and the numerous foreign business trips taken by Eric Trump also came under scrutiny for spending several thousand dollars each time on the Secret Service during Trump’s presidency, records show. And for security details to protect Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, taxpayers spend $ 3,000 a month to rent a studio apartment from the couple’s home in Washington, D.C., throughout Trump’s presidency, sources confirmed to ABC News at the time.
During Obama’s presidency, President Barack Obama’s two daughters lived in the White House, and the president himself visited his private residence in Chicago only a few times – but his family regularly visited the Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts and paid family visits to Honolulu. During Christmas, the Secret Service spends millions of dollars every time.
The Secret Service spent 2. 2.7 million on a trip to Marthas Vineyard in August 2016, including $ 2.5 million in hotels and $ 90,000 in rental cars, when the family had their final Christmas, according to a record of spending obtained by right-leaning watchdog group Judicial Watch. The agency spent $ 1.9 million on Honolulu travel in late 2016, including $ 1.8 million in hotels.
In 2014, 2015 and 2016, First Lady Michelle Obama’s trip to Aspen cost the Secret Service taxpayer more than $ 319,000, of which about $ 166,000 was received from the 2016 trip, a record obtained by the group show.
And Joe Biden, as vice president during Obama’s presidency, raised $ 2,200 a month to pay the Secret Service by renting a cottage on his Delaware property for agents to protect him, according to past media reports and federal spending records.
Sometimes in the high costs associated with protecting members of the president’s family, Mihalek said, “I think it’s all relative.”
“Hunters are out in Malibu, which is not a low-cost area,” Mihalek said “And Trump’s kids, too, don’t live in low-cost areas.”
Mihalek said that in order for the Secret Service to function effectively, their security guards must have a command post – even if it costs more.
“There can’t be a command post in the city next to the Secret Service,” he said. “It won’t do them any good.”
Craig Holman, a public affairs lobbyist at Progressive Good-Governance Group Public Citizen, told ABC News that secret service security is essential for the president and the president’s family – but they must recognize that the agency has its own protection and assistance by reducing unnecessary travel or their own. Reduce taxpayer costs by sharing property for free.
“Their house should have been opened to Ivanka and Jared’s Secret Service, as Hunter Biden should have done at his Malibur residence,” Hallman said.
“Hunter needs to recognize the sheer cost of his own security in the exclusive Malibu neighborhood and cooperate with the Secret Service to reduce costs,” Holman said. “Renting a house in Malibu next to Hunter costs $ 30,000 a month for the Secret Service is an unwelcome burden for taxpayers, all for the personal benefit of Hunter Biden. Hunter should realize this and compromise his security details in his own home.”