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The Wall Street Journal: Trump properties charged excessive rates to government, House Democrats say

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WASHINGTON— House Democrats said a long-running probe found that properties controlled by former President Donald Trump’s company charged the Secret Service excessive rates on dozens of government trips but that investigators lacked many details.

House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D., N.Y.) detailed the preliminary findings in a letter to Kimberly Cheatle, the director of the Secret Service. In the Oct. 17 letter, she wrote that the committee still hasn’t received complete information on nightly rates or the total amount the Secret Service paid to the Trump Organization, and asked the agency for more records related to all stays at properties owned, controlled or branded by the former president’s company.

The committee “has a strong interest in obtaining a complete accounting of federal government spending at Trump properties,” she wrote, saying the panel is examining potential legislation to prevent presidential self-dealing.

In a statement, Mr. Trump’s son Eric Trump said that “any services rendered to the United States Secret Service or other government agencies at Trump-owned properties were at their request and were either provided at cost, heavily discounted or for free.” He added that the company “would have been substantially better off if hospitality services were sold to full-paying guests, however, the company did whatever it took to accommodate the agencies.”

With November elections approaching, the House Oversight Democrats have only months left to receive a formal response while they can be guaranteed to be in charge of the panel. Republicans are favored to win the midterm elections, and if that happens, they would be in charge of the committee during the new Congress, which begins next year. In addition, Ms. Maloney lost her primary race and will exit Congress after this term.

An expanded version of this story appears on WSJ.com.

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