U.S. lawmakers accuse Trump of defrauding country as president

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Former U.S president Donald Trump ripped off the American government during his administration, new records by the House Oversight Committee have revealed. 

Records made public on Monday by the committee said the Trump Organisation, owned by the former president, billed the country’s secret service $1,185 per night for hotel rooms occupied by his protective detail.

The committee accused Mr Trump’s organisation of charging the secret service exorbitant rates for protecting Mr Trump, who spent most of his nights at his hotel. The rates were as high as $1.4 million between 2017 and 2021 when Mr Trump was president.

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“The exorbitant rates charged to the Secret Service and agents’ frequent stays at Trump-owned properties raise significant concerns about the former President’s self-dealing and may have resulted in a taxpayer-funded windfall for former President Trump’s struggling businesses,” according to the Oversight Committee chairwoman, New York Democratic Representative Carolyn Maloney.

Eric Trump, son of the ex-president, had in 2019 asserted the government agents were being charged $50 a night whenever Mr Trump lodged at the hotel. His assertion has been touted a lie by the recent findings of the oversight committee. 

“What gets me is, over and over again, how they just lie about this stuff. Documents don’t lie,” Ms Maloney stressed in an interview, alleging that Mr Trump cheated the American government during his administration.

“This raises concerns that the Trump Organisation was profiting off the presidency. It’s excessive” Ms Maloney asserted. 

No fewer than 669 payments were made by the secret service to the Trump Organisation, the panel chairwoman disclosed in a letter to Kimberly A. Cheatle, the agency’s director.