'the cost of doing business'
Hunter Biden, President Biden's remaining son, is living in a rented four-bedroom "resort-style" home in Malibu, California, and the nearest property his Secret Service detail could secure was a $30,000-a-month six-bedroom mansion with ocean views and a "castle-like tower to the master retreat with wet bar," ABC News reports, citing the mansion's listing and sources familiar with the matter.
That's "the cost of doing business for the Secret Service," former agent Don Mihalek told ABC News. "Typically, wherever a protectee sets up their residence, the Secret Service is forced to find someplace to rent nearby at market value," he added. "The Service has had to do this in past administrations, and unfortunately, the housing market right now has driven the prices."
"The cost of protecting first families has raised eyebrows in the past," ABC News notes. "In the first year of Donald Trump's presidency, the Secret Service requested $60 million of additional funding to protect Trump and his family, with about $27 million of that going to protecting them at their private residency at the Trump Tower in New York City," and the Secret Service paid at least $1.2 million at various Trump properties while protecting the Trump family, including $17,000 a month for a cottage at Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey, The Washington Post found.
The Secret Service needs to protect the president's family, but "Ivanka [Trump] and Jared [Kushner] should have opened up their house to the Secret Service, just as Hunter Biden should do at his Malibu residence," Craig Holman at progressive good-government group Public Citizen told ABC News. "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."