President Trump has yet to pay multiple invoices for security provided by city police departments at his rallies — a grand total of $841,219, according to NBC News. The Trump Campaign has still not given an explanation for the numerous unpaid invoices, some of which are three years old.
While there are no official contracts between these cities — such as Lebanon, Ohio, and Erie, Pennsylvania — and the Trump campaign, police advocates say that presidential campaigns should still pay cities’ police bills regardless. Municipal policies on billing politicians for security at events vary, but local governments have more financial leverage when politicians hold events at public facilities such as convention centers and parks.
Despite Trump’s continued outward support for police in multiple tweets and public statements, the unmet expenses that cities take on during Trump rallies complicate the situation. Unfortunately, Secret Service is not sufficiently funded to reimburse municipal governments for police assistance during presidential campaign events.
Among past presidential candidates, some pay and others never do. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) meticulously paid all of his police bills, and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama paid the majority of their bills. However, when it comes to Trump rallies, cities are hesitant to deny protection due to the large crowds drawn by such events.
While campaigns are not necessarily required to pay public safety bills, they are required to report any disputed debts to the Federal Election Commission. Trump’s campaign has not included these debts to local governments in its reports to the commission, which has prompted questions of federal campaign finance law violations from election law attorneys as well as some House Democrats.