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Secret Service spent $253k in 90 days to protect Steven Mnuchin after Trump left office, documents show

Capitol Riot Investigation Takeaways (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Capitol Riot Investigation Takeaways (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

A trio of business trips taken by former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in the months after he left government service cost the federal government more than a quarter-million dollars, according to documents reviewed by The Independent.

The documents, which detail Secret Service expenses during a six-month period when the ex-Cabinet secretary received a protective detail on orders issued by former president Donald Trump before he left office in January 2021.

Mr Mnuchin, who before Mr Trump tapped him to lead the US Treasury was a film producer known for notorious flops such as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Storks, racked up $253,000 in Secret Service expenditures during business trips to the Middle East in February, April and June 2021.

According to the records, which were obtained by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington under a Freedom of Information Act request, Secret Service agents assigned to protect Mr Mnuchin spent $117,800 on hotel charges during that period, including charges for rooms in Abu Dhabi that exceeded the government’s maximum daily room rate of roughly $800 per day for travel outside the continental United States.

The former Treasury Secretary was one of a number of ex-Trump administration figures who Mr Trump granted extended protective details to on his way out the White House door.

In addition to Mr Mnuchin, who availed himself of the government-funded security detail while raising funds in the Middle East for a new business venture, Mr Trump extended protection for his four eldest children, Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump, Tiffany Trump and Donald Trump Jr, as well as his ex-chief of staff Mark Meadows and Robert O’Brien, his former national security adviser.

Yet Mr Mnuchin was by far the most expensive of those seven people to protect during the six-month extension period, with The Washington Post reporting that the total cost of his security detail and related expenses ran to $479,000.

The records obtained by Crew and review by The Independent indicate that more than half the cost of protecting him was incurred over those three trips, including a weeking sojourn to Qatar and the United Arab Emirates in February 2021, six days in Qatar, the UAE and Saudi Arabia two months later, and a nine-day trip in June that included stops in Israel, the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.