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Large Secret Service Spending At Trump Businesses Raises Ethics Questions

President Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., has flown to Canada to hunt with his friends with an assortment of Secret Service agents. Federal agents have been spending money at numerous  Trump-affiliated businesses in the area. 

Secret Service agents accompany presidents and their children everywhere, but it is the Trump family’s abuse of this resource that has drawn critics. Ethics watchdogs say that the Trumps have been misallocating the funding and funneling it into their properties.

Despite the criticism, there have been no formal investigation conducted. But House Democrats could change that soon.

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland) said that lawmakers are focusing on the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution that forbids the president from receiving gifts from foreign officials.  

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In June, the House passed a bill that bars the White House and other departments of the government from associating themselves with any of the Trump’s properties. 

According to a government watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the Secret Service spent around $20,000 at the Trump International Hotel and Tower Vancouver, in February 2017. Other groups have noted larger amounts spent at other Trump facilities.

There is no official record of the the total amount of money that federal agencies have spent at these locations. And with Trump frequeting his home in Florida and his golf course in New Jersey several times per month, the bills add up quickly. 

The Secret Service has said that the president’s need for more security and his large 42-member family have strained its budget. 

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Benjamin Wuersch

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