- Former Maine Gov. Paul LePage and his staff spent more than $US22,000 of taxpayer money at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC.
- Documents obtained by Maine’s Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram showed the governor’s staff spent the money on more than 40 rooms and expensive meals at the hotel over a two-year period.
- The hotel, which is now run by President Donald Trump’s sons, has been a key point of concern for prosecutors in DC and Maryland who are investigating Trump profiting off the presidency, and the hotel’s potential role in influencing the president.
Former Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) and his staff spent more than $US22,000 of taxpayer money on rooms and meals at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC.
Spending records obtained by the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram showed the governor’s team spent the money over two years on more than 40 rooms in the hotel, which cost around $US362 to $US1,100 per night.
In addition to the rooms, receipts from the visits showed hundreds of dollars were spent on meals in the hotel’s restaurant, which includes expensive cuts of steak and seafood on its menu.
The paper reported that these trips were flagged by an employee in the state controller’s office, who said since the governor was meeting with the president and lawmakers, normal travel and spending limits didn’t technically apply.
Of the $US22,000 that was spent over the course of these trips, the paper found the state of Maine was reimbursed for only $US124.
The most expensive trip found by the paper occurred over three days in late April to early May 2017, when the governor, two staffers and two Maine State Police officers spent $US6,534.72 at the Trump hotel.
The 12 rooms reportedly cost more than $US5,600 for the trip and were accompanied by a $US362.50 dinner for six at BLT Prime, one of the hotel’s restaurants.
“Although the group paid their approximately $US130 bar bill separately, Maine taxpayers paid for a $US53 filet mignon, a $US57 surf & turf, a $US55 New York strip steak and a $US45 veal chop plus side dishes (at $US13 each),” the report says.
The hotel has been a point of controversy for the president and his family, as it is a key asset of concern for attorneys general of the District of Columbia and Maryland who announced in December they were moving forward with subpoenas for records in their case accusing Trump of profiting off the presidency.
The Press Herald’s report on LePage’s spending noted that several of the former governor’s stays were cited by those same authorities in the early stages of the lawsuit, which concerns the Constitution’s emoluments clause, prohibiting the president from profiting off foreign, federal, or state governments.
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