Secret Service rents $30K Malibu pad to protect Hunter Biden | #itsecurity | #infosec


​Taxpayers are shelling out more than $30,000 a month so the Secret Service can rent an estate in the upscale celebrity enclave of Malibu to protect Hunter Biden, who is living nearby in a “resort-style” home with “enchanting” panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, according to a new report on Monday.

A former Secret Service agent told ABC News the setup is the “cost of doing business” for the agency, since Hunter — like other presidential family members — is entitled to round-the-clock security.

“Typically, wherever a protectee sets up their residence, the Secret Service is forced to find someplace to rent nearby at market value,” retired agent Don Mihalek told the network, adding that the agency also rents properties at Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach in Delaware, as part of their duty to protect President Biden on his frequent weekend trips home.

​​”This isn’t new,”​ Mihalek added. “The Service has had to do this in past administrations, and unfortunately, the housing market right now has driven the prices up substantially.”

Hunter Biden, who has come under intense scrutiny for his business dealings in Ukraine and China and is under investigation by the feds for allegations of tax fraud, has been wiling away his time ​over the past year ​in luxury digs​ that cost about $20,000 a month​.

Hunter Biden, like other presidential family members, is entitled to round-the-clock security.
Stephen Yang

The “resort-style” home includes four bedrooms, three bathrooms in an open floor plan with vaulted ceilings, ​and ​a chef’s kitchen, ABC reported, citing the property’s online listing.

The mansion, located on nearly an acre of ground atop a hill​ in the coastal community​, features a “spacious park-like yard” with a pool, a spa, and a built-in barbecue bar. The listing also touts the home’s “enchanting” 180-degree panoramic ocean views.

The first son’s federal security detail are reportedly ensconced next door in a Spanish-style estate that has its own “gorgeous ocean views,” as well as six bedrooms, six bathrooms, a gym, a tasting room, a built-in barbecue, a pool, and a spa.

Secret service.
“Wherever a protectee sets up their residence, the Secret Service is forced to find someplace to rent nearby at market value,” a retired Secret Service agent explained.
Carolyn Kaster/AP

A spiral staircase in the luxury home leads up a “castle-like tower to the master retreat with wet bar,” the listing says, adding that the home provides “resort style living at its finest” and is “a perfect retreat for discerning clientele.”​

A representative for Hunter Biden did not respond to requests for comment from ABC News.​​ The White House referred the network to the Secret Service, which responded in a statement: “Due to the need to maintain operational security, the ​US Secret Service does not comment on the means, methods, or resources used to conduct our protective operations.”

The Post revealed Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine and China in a series of reports in October 2020 after obtaining the hard drive of a laptop the first son left behind at a computer repair shop in Delaware in April 2019.

Hunter Biden.
Hunter Biden has been wiling away his time ​over the past year ​in luxury digs​ that cost about $20,000 a month​.
Image from Hunter Biden’s laptop
Hunter Biden with family and security.
Hunter Biden and his family have been living in a “resort-style” home with “enchanting” panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean in Malibu.
Stephen Yang

It included a treasure trove of emails and documents about how Hunter Biden was paid as much as $50,000 a month to sit on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, and how he introduced executives of the company to his father when he was vice president in the Obama administration. 

Other news outlets, including the Washington Post and the New York Times, initially questioned the authenticity of the laptop, and a group of 51 former US intelligence officials cautioned that it might contain Russian misinformation.

In recent weeks, however, both newspapers confirmed the existence of the laptop and reported on the continuing investigation into Hunter Biden. ​

Hunter and Joe Biden.
Hunter Biden has come under intense scrutiny for his business dealings in Ukraine and China while his father was vice president.
Carolyn Kaster/AP

T​he Secret Service sought an additional $60 million in funding to protect then-President Donald Trump and his family in the first year of his administration, ​the Washington Post reported at the time. 

The agency also provided protection for Trump and his family members at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and the Trump National Golf Club at Bedminster in New Jersey. 

Agents also accompanied his children, including adult sons Donald Jr. and Eric Trump, on overseas trips during the administration. 

During the Obama administration, the 44th president’s two daughters lived in the White House, but the family often vacationed in Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts and took family trips to Hawaii during the Christmas holidays. 

Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist at good government advocacy group Public Citizen, told ABC that although Secret Service protection is required for the president’s family, they should try to ease the cost for taxpayers by cutting back on unnecessary travel or share their properties free of charge. ​

“​Hunter should recognize the exorbitant cost of his own protection in the exclusive Malibu neighborhood, and cooperate with the Secret Service to bring down the expenses,” ​Holman said. 

“A cost of $30,000 a month for the Secret Service to rent a home in Malibu next to Hunter is an unconscionable burden to taxpayers, all for the personal benefit of Hunter Biden,” he added. “Hunter should realize this and accommodate his security detail in his own home​.”​



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