Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is seeking to delay the disclosure of Secret Service-records of travel expenses for President Trump until after the 2020 elections in the face of Democrats’ demands for the documents, the Washington Post reported Thursday.
Mnuchin is currently working with senators to draft legislation that would move the Secret Service under the purview of the Treasury Department. During those negotiations, Democrats involved in the draft process have demanded that the Secret Service disclose travel expenses for the President and his family members within 120 days of the bill’s passing.
The Treasury Department confirmed Mnuchin was working with Congress and Secret Service Director James Murray to draft legislation, but did not comment on the impasse in negotiations.
“Conversations about the return of the Secret Service to the Treasury Department are ongoing, and we decline to comment on individual aspects of those conversations,” a Treasury Department official told the Post.
The Secret Service was part of the Treasury Department until 2003, when it was moved to the Department of Homeland Security amid the fallout from the 9/11 attacks. Mnuchin began pushing to move the Secret Service back to its original home in 2018.
The conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch has revealed that the federal government spent almost $97 million on travel expenses for President Obama and his family. While the exact expenditures related to Trump’s travel ad protection remain unknown, there have been some indications that it has far outpaced his predecessors.
Travel expenses for President Trump in just one month of 2017 came in at $13.6 million, as estimated by the congressional-watchdog Government Accountability Office. In March 2017, as the Secret Service was adjusting to Trump’s frequent golf outings and trips to his various properties, the agency asked Congress for an additional $60 million in funds to be entirely allocated to Trump’s travel, according to internal documents reviewed by the Post. According to federal spending data posted online, the secret service has spent $588,000 on golf carts alone while protecting Trump on his many outings.