The taxpayer-funded Secret Service is reportedly shelling out at least $30,000 a month to rent a seaside Malibu mansion close to Hunter Biden, President Joe Biden’s scandal-plagued son, to protect him.
The security detail reportedly started renting a “resort-style” home in one of the priciest California cities last year to stay close to the amateur artist’s own rented Malibu property, which costs $10,000 less per month according to a report from ABC News.
Secret Service rented the $6 million “Spanish-style estate” with “six bedrooms, six bathrooms, a gym, a tasting room, a built-in barbecue, a pool, a spa,” and “gorgeous ocean views” in the same neighborhood as Hunter, who is under federal investigation for potential tax crimes and scrutiny for his shady overseas business dealings. Hunter’s own lavish living space in Malibu features a “spacious park-like yard” with “a pool, a spa, a built-in barbecue bar, and alfresco dining.”
A retired senior Secret Service agent quoted by ABC blamed the security agency’s pricey and lavish living choice on the expensive housing market.
While it’s customary for Secret Service to offer protection to family members of the president, the Malibu mansion rental is not the first time the agency has reached beyond its duties to accommodate the young Biden or rescue him from criminal situations.
In the fall of 2016, a Hertz rental car office in Arizona discovered a crack pipe, white powder, credit cards, and Beau Biden’s attorney general badge in a car Hunter had rented. The rental agency reported the drug paraphernalia discovery to local police, who filed a narcotics offense report but later decided not to charge the Biden son after Secret Service agents got involved and claimed Hunter was “secure/well.”
Secret Service also reportedly tried to interfere in an investigation into Hunter’s gun, which he seems to have purchased illegally and which went temporarily missing after his late brother’s wife and then-love interest threw it away in a trash can near a grocery store in 2018.
When police got involved after the .38 revolver went missing, two Secret Service agents equipped with “badges and identification cards” reportedly visited the gun store where Hunter purchased the firearm earlier that month and demanded that the owner turn over the Firearms Transaction Record used during the purchase. The store owner refused because he “suspected that the Secret Service officers wanted to hide Hunter’s ownership of the missing gun in case it were to be involved in a crime.”
The Secret Service later denied any official involvement in the situation, citing that the Biden family’s official protection only spanned from 2009 to 2017. Secret Service formally resumed protection for Hunter in June 2020 shortly after his father won the Democratic presidential nomination and added more security detail after Biden assumed office but “kept an informal hand in maintaining the former vice president’s security” even between 2017 and 2020.