U.S. Attorney General William Barr is expected to invite about 200 people to his annual family holiday party and spend about $30,000 on the affair.
Barr booked the December event at President Donald Trump’s hotel in Washington, D.C., the Washington Post reports.
Barr is picking up the tab, according to a Department of Justice official who spoke with the Washington Post. The official didn’t want to be named because the party is not a DOJ event.
Barr chose Trump’s hotel after learning that other possible locations were already booked.
“Career ethics officials were consulted, and they determined that ethics rules did not prohibit him from hosting his annual party at the Trump hotel,” the official told the Washington Post.
Liz Hempowicz, director of public policy at the nonprofit Project on Government Oversight, is criticizing Barr’s decision. “It creates the appearance that high-level political appointees or allies of the president may feel like they need to spend money at the president’s businesses as a show of loyalty,” she told the Washington Post.
The party will feature a buffet and a four-hour open bar. The annual party features a ceilidh, defined as a social event that includes Scottish or Irish folk music.
Barr plays the bagpipes, according to a story from the New Yorker. He demonstrated his skills in June before delivering remarks to a national conference of U.S. attorneys.
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