Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is no longer a government employee. But he’s still under the watchful eye of the Secret Service, thanks to ex-boss Donald Trump’s unexpected decision to grant six extra months of protection beyond the end of his term to 13 family members and at least three appointees, including Mnuchin. But that full-time security comes with a price, and taxpayers are the ones footing the bill. After springtime jaunts to Jerusalem and Doha that cost Americans about $60,000 in hotel bills alone for Mnuchin’s Secret Service detail, the erstwhile Trump cabinet member returned to Doha for another trip during his final weeks as a Secret Service protectee and once again stayed at the St. Regis—with his detail’s hotel charges running at least $13,000, according to federal spending data reviewed by The Daily Beast. (The figures do not include salaries, transportation costs, overtime, and so on.)
Mnuchin, a multimillionaire financier, is in the process of launching an investment fund focused on the Persian Gulf region; Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is considering partnering with the former U.S. Treasury chief, according to sources cited by Axios.
“[A]t any point in time, any of these individuals can decline protection,” retired Secret Service agent Don Mihalek told ABC News in January. In the first month after Trump left office, his adult children cost taxpayers some $140,000 in Secret Service travel expenditures, according to D.C. watchdog nonprofit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.