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US The US Army's oldest regiment spent at least $26,000 partying at Trump's luxury DC hotel

06:05  14 december  2019
06:05  14 december  2019 Source:   businessinsider.com

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International Editions: United States US . A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Former Maine Gov. Paul LePage and his staff spent more than , 000 of taxpayer money at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC .

The Trump Organization, run by President Donald Trump ’ s sons, owns the hotel and restaurant businesses. LePage already was at the center of an emoluments lawsuit filed against the president and the Trump Organization, and the latest revelations could become more evidence in those cases

  The US Army's oldest regiment spent at least $26,000 partying at Trump's luxury DC hotel © Lt. Col. Bradford Leighton/US Army.DVIDS
  • The US Army Old Guard, the oldest regiment in the Army, spent at least $26,000 on a party at the Trump International Hotel in DC this past February.
  • The Old Guard did not use government funds to pay for the event or the deposits required to reserve the space, the Old Guard's spokesman said.
  • "Questions still remain about why the hotel was selected and the impression given off by holding a military function at Trump's DC hotel, which has been the subject of lawsuits, congressional inquires, and political debate," one legal expert told Insider.
  • Visit Business Insider's home page for more stories.

The US Army ceremonial regiment that escorts the president spent at least $26,000 at President Donald Trump's Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, for its formal winter ball.

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The Old Guard - the 4th battalion of the 3rd US Infantry, which gets its name from being the Army's oldest active-duty regiment - is the president's official escort regiment and performs ceremonial duties, including drum-and-fife shows and keeping vigil at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider in Arlington National Cemetery.

Like most other regiments across the forces, the Old Guard occasionally holds formal events to celebrate its service members. The regiment's winter ball on Feb. 7, 2019, was held at Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, at a cost of at least $26,000, 1100 Pennsylvania and Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington reported. An initial estimate, for 500 guests, put the minimum bill at $48,790 for a three-course plated meal, seven bartenders working three hours each, as well as the rent of the ballroom and additional service fees.

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CNN previously reported that the US Secret Service paid the Mar-a-Lago Club ,700 between roughly Since opening in 2016, the Trump International Hotel offers more than 260 luxury rooms, and The arrangement allows him to benefit financially from those businesses, including the DC hotel .

The 3rd United States Infantry Regiment is a regiment of the United States Army . It currently has three active battalions, and is readily identified by its nickname, The Old Guard, as well as Escort to the President. The regimental motto is Noli Me Tangere (from Latin: – "Touch Me Not").

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The Old Guard did not use government funds to pay for the event or the deposits required to reserve the space, said the Old Guard's spokesman, Maj. Stephen Von Jett.

"No appropriated funds were used for this event," Von Jett told Insider. "Fundraising for the event began before ticket sales and proceeds from fundraising were used to secure the deposits," he said, mentioning that the fundraisers included candy sales, bake sales, and similar events.

At $80 per ticket, according to an event invitation posted to th eregiment's Facebook, and with 356 attendees, ticket sales would have raised $28,480 to cover the minimum cost of booking the event space. But when asked for the final cost of the event, Von Jett told Insider that because it wasn't an official US military activity, the final cost wasn't recorded.

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The 26 th Infantry Regiment is an infantry regiment of the United States Army . Its nickname is "Blue Spaders", taken from the spade-like device on the regiment ' s distinctive unit insignia.

The US Army , most powerful in the world, has welcomed soldiers from other countries for many years. Military Job Applications. Every year, more than 8, 000 green card holders but who are non- U . S . citizens join the You must be at least 18 years old to join the US Army as a soldier.

The Old Guard said the location was chosen by members of the 4th Battalion because it offered a competitive rate and was conveniently located. Asked whether the optics of having an event at the president's luxury hotel concerned the regiment or entered into the decision, Von Jett told Insider, "With no undue command influence, the members of 4th Battalion of the 3rd United States Infantry Regiment, in their personal and private capacity, independently decided to host a private event at the Trump International Hotel Washington."

"The 3rd United States Infantry Regiment assisted the unit with leadership and oversight to ensure their actions were in keeping with all applicable laws and regulations," he added.

However, whoever signed the contract on behalf of the members of the unit organizing the ball used the Old Guard's government address as their physical address on the signatory page.

Ethics issues aside, the regiment's choice remains puzzling, Scott Amey, general counsel at the Project on Government Oversight told Insider.

"If federal funds were not used, the event avoided potential constitutional violations for President Trump," Amey said.

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The United States Army Regimental System (USARS) was established in 1981 to replace the Combat Arms Regimental System, to provide each soldier with continuous identification with a single

"Questions still remain about why the hotel was selected and the impression given off by holding a military function at Trump's DC hotel, which has been the subject of lawsuits, congressional inquires, and political debate. It could be a simple night out at a trendy DC hotel or a show of support for the commander in chief, but only the organizers can answer that."

The contract, which 1100 Pennsylvania and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) both obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, shows most dollar amounts included in the contract, as well as personal information of hotel employees and Old Guard members, have been redacted, making it difficult to know how much was spent on the night out. But in addition to the $26,000 food and beverage minimum, the Trump property tacks on a 24% service charge, adding at least $6,240 to the bill. The minimum also doesn't include services like valet, which could have added a significant amount to the final bill.

On its signature page, the contract includes a section where signatories can indicate whether they are representatives of a foreign government, a foreign government agency, embassy, or political party, a royal family, or sovereign wealth fund, which would ostensibly alert Trump to potential violations of the foreign emoluments clause. No such option exists for members of the US government or a US government entity, although the domestic emoluments clause exists to prevent federal or state governments from contributing to the president's wealth above the amount of his salary.

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