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Trump event's tabput at $5.4 million

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump's expansion of a federal July Fourth event to include tanks, a military flyover and a Trump speech at the Lincoln Memorial cost an estimated $5.4 million, according to rough figures Thursday.

Interior Secretary David Bernhardt provided the latest share of costs, $2.45 million for his agency, in a letter to lawmakers, saying his agency pulled money from operating funds for national parks, recreation fees and another source to help fund Trump's Salute to America.

Trump announced Monday that he would do it all again next year, calling this year's event "remarkable."

Democratic lawmakers have condemned the extra expenditures for the Independence Day celebration, which came in addition to the traditional concert, fireworks and events held near the U.S. Capitol.

The Interior Department's costs included crowd accommodations such as temporary fencing and portable toilets.

In addition, the Department of Defense says its costs came to $1.2 million.

Separately, Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser wrote Trump to say the district's costs for Trump's event drained a special fund used to provide security and protect the nation's capital from terrorist threats.

The District of Columbia estimates it spent about $1.7 million -- not including police expenses for related demonstrations.

Bowser wrote Trump that the fund will have a $6 million deficit by September, reminding the president that the account was never reimbursed for $7.3 million in expenses from Trump's 2017 inauguration.

Senators promotejournalist tribute

Three U.S. senators want a new memorial in Washington, D.C., to honor journalists killed in the line of duty.

Republican Susan Collins of Maine is joining Democrat Ben Cardin of Maryland and fellow Republican Rob Portman of Ohio on legislation that would establish the memorial. The senators say it would be privately funded and constructed on federal lands in the capital.

Collins says the memorial would honor those who "sacrificed their lives in the course of providing their fellow citizens with honest and accurate reporting."

The senators say about $300,000 has been raised to start the Fallen Journalists Memorial Foundation, which would be a nonprofit arm of the National Press Club.

Review ordered onGeorgia vote data

ATLANTA -- A federal judge has ordered Georgia election officials to allow computer experts and lawyers to review the databases used to create ballots and count votes.

The ruling came in a lawsuit that challenges Georgia's election system and seeks statewide use of hand-marked paper ballots.

U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg gave the state until today to turn over electronic copies of the databases to the plaintiffs' lawyers and computer experts.

The lawsuit was filed by a group of voters and the Coalition for Good Governance, an election-integrity advocacy organization. It argues that the paperless touch-screen voting machines Georgia has used since 2002 are not secure, vulnerable to hacking and unable to be audited.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs have argued that they need to inspect the databases at issue because they provide the information that is loaded onto voting machines.

However, attorneys for Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger countered that disclosure of sensitive information in the databases could jeopardize the election system's security.

-- Compiled by Democrat-Gazette staff from wire reports

A Section on 07/12/2019

Print Headline: Trump event's tab put at $5.4 million estimated at $5.4M Senators promote journalist tribute Review ordered on Georgia vote data

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