U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.) has joined with two other senators to express concern about possible self-dealing with the President Trump administration’s announcement this week that the 2020 G-7 Summit will be held at his Florida resort.
Peters, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) sent a letter to the White House, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State and Department of Treasury asking how Trump’s National Doral Miami property was selected. They also want to know whether this decision is a misuse of the President’s public office to steer money from American taxpayers and foreign sources to private businesses that benefit him financially.
Peters is the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Wyden serves in that capacity on the Finance Committee and Brown is the top Democrat on the Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs Committee.
“The President has chosen to host the 2020 G-7 Summit at his private golf resort in Miami. The goal of the G-7 Summit is to encourage cooperation, trade, and dialogue among the world’s leading democracies,” the Senators wrote. “This is another outrageous example of the President using his office to funnel money from American taxpayers and foreign sources into his own pockets.”
In the letter, the senators note taxpayer dollars have been directed toward Trump’s properties. Peters last month called for the Department of Defense to investigate reports that the U.S. Air Force increased personnel stays at the Trump Turnberry resort in Scotland, and Vice President Mike Pence stayed at the Trump hotel in Doonbeg, Ireland 175 miles away from his meetings in Dublin.
A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report requested by Peters and released earlier this year found that the President’s first four trips to Mar-a-Lago alone cost the American taxpayer $13 million.
Last month, Peters led Wyden, Brown and dozens of their colleagues in introducing the Heightened Oversight of Travel, Eating, and Lodging (HOTEL) Act, which would bar the federal government from spending taxpayer dollars at lodging properties owned by the president, vice president and cabinet officials.