Lawsuit Filed for Records of Trump, Jr. Private Business Trip
Former State Senator and Superior Court Judge Quentin L. Kopp has filed a lawsuit against the United States Secret Service for public records related to Donald Trump Jr.’s protection detail while he was on a private business fundraising trip in India in February 2018.
As detailed in the complaint, filed by Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, Trump Jr. was in India to promote a Trump-branded luxury apartment development. Local Indian newspapers ran advertisements promising prospective purchasers willing to pay a roughly $38,000 booking fee the opportunity to “join Mr. Donald Trump Jr. for a conversation and dinner.”
Leading up to Trump Jr.’s trip, ethics experts questioned why Trump Jr. was to discuss US foreign policy on what was supposedly a business trip by a private citizen. Trump Jr.’s visit received widespread criticism for opening the door to possible corruption. The Trump family’s jet-setting lifestyle and private business trips are straining the Secret Service’s budget and increasing taxpayers’ costs.
Retired Judge Kopp’s attorney, Justin T. Berger of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, explained, “Taxpayers are entitled to know where their money is spent. Transparency is the best antidote to corruption.”
Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), Judge Kopp requested records showing the taxpayer costs for Secret Service personnel accompanying Trump Jr. on his business trip abroad to fundraise for the Trump Organization. The Secret Service has not complied with Kopp’s two requests nor provided any legal basis for withholding the public records. In his complaint, Kopp, as a taxpayer, is requesting the Court to order the Secret Service to provide such documents.
Judge Kopp noted, “For a President who boasts about his personal wealth and donating his salary, it is inconsistent for taxpayers to foot the bill for his adult children’s security on private business trips. The Trump Organization can and should pay for those costs. Taxpayers should not.”