The Secret Service detail protecting President Joe Biden’s son Hunter has been paying over $30,000 a month for nearly a year to rent a luxurious mansion in Malibu, Calif., sources told ABC News.
The service reportedly chose the property based on its location to Hunter Biden’s own mansion rental where he is paying roughly $20,000 a month to live, sources said.
Don Mihalek, a retired senior Secret Service agent and ABC News contributor, called the pricey arrangement “the cost of doing business,” noting that federal law requires the agency to protect the president, the first family and anyone to whom the president assigns protection.
“Typically, wherever a protectee sets up their residence, the Secret Service is forced to find someplace to rent nearby at market value,” Mihalek said, adding that Secret Service agents are also renting properties near President Biden’s homes in Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
“This isn’t new,” Mihalek said. “The Service has had to do this in past administrations, and unfortunately, the housing market right now has driven the prices up substantially.”
Hunter’s Malibu mansion includes four bedrooms, three bathrooms, vaulted high ceilings, chef’s kitchen and French doors, a property listing description said, calling it a “resort-style” home.
The residence also has a “spacious park-like yard” featuring a pool, a spa, a built-in barbecue bar, and alfresco dining. The mansion sits on 0.7 acres on top of a hill with an “enchanting” 180-degree panoramic view of the ocean.
The estate being rented by the Secret Service is also on a 0.7-acre lot featuring “gorgeous ocean views.” It has six bedrooms, six bathrooms, a gym, a tasting room, a built-in barbecue, a pool, a spa, and a spiral staircase that leads to a “castle-like tower to the master retreat with wet bar.”
The listing adds that the mansion is “resort style living at its finest” and is “a perfect retreat for discerning clientele.”
When asked about the cost, the White House referred ABC News to the Secret Service, which said, “Due to the need to maintain operational security, the U.S. Secret Service does not comment on the means, methods, or resources used to conduct our protective operations.”
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reported that Hunter Biden took out a more than $1 million loan to pay off back taxes owed to the United States. The New York Times also recently reported it had “authenticated” materials from a laptop that reportedly belonged to the president’s son.