There has been plenty of grousing over the expensive vacations taken by President Barack Obama and his family, but until now no one has taken legal action against the first family for the alleged excesses.
Contending that the bill for Obama’s travel costs exceeds $74 million, but being stonewalled in trying to access the actual totals, Judicial Watch sued the Department of Homeland Security for ignoring Freedom of Information Act requests, according to a press release issued this week by the conservative watchdog group.
(The Secret Service is under the authority of Homeland Security.)
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said taxpayers are being “abused” by the president’s “kingly entourage.”
“Now that we’ve sued, the Secret Service has stopped ignoring our requests for details on more of the costs of Barack Obama’s luxury vacations,” Fitton said in the statement. “Taxpayers, the U.S. Air Force, and the Secret Service are being abused by Barack Obama, who too often treats Air Force One and his security detail like some sort of kingly entourage.”
According to Judicial Watch, two Obama family vacations alone cost over $5 million dollars.
Numbers obtained from Homeland Security’s subsequent response to FOIA requests revealed that the August 2014 Martha’s Vineyard and Christmas 2014 Honolulu vacations cost taxpayers $1,243,057.80 for Secret Service accommodations alone.
A 17-day Martha’s Vineyard vacation in 2015 included a stay at a “humble” $22.5 million home complete with six bedrooms, five bathrooms, an over-sized fireplace and a heated infinity pool. The spread fit for a king is seen here:
Judical Watch added that other expenses included: $39,575.95 at Paradise Luxury Rentals; $34,827.57 at the Kahala and; $298,218.15 at Cabana Girl LLC.
In addition, Law Newz noted that local newspapers reported in January the Honolulu Police Department said it had incurred $341,000 in overtime costs — it’s highest bill yet — to provide security for the Obama and his family.