DHS to Turn Over Mar-a-Lago Visitor Logs to DC Nonprofit

Vincent Carr
July 17, 2017

The Department of Homeland Security will release the visitor logs from President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, thanks to an ongoing lawsuit filed by the government watchdog organization, Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington-a group that has been fiercely critical of the Trump administration's lack of transparency and its potential conflicts of interest.

Mr Trump is hardly the first USA president to resist releasing visitor log information.

Trump has not traveled to his New York City office tower since being inaugurated; he visited the Florida property - which he dubbed the "Winter White House" - throughout February, March and April.

In April, CREW, along with the National Security Archive and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, sued DHS under the Freedom of Information Act for not disclosing Trump's presidential visitor logs at Mar-a-Lago.

In response, a NY court has asked the Secret Service to turn over records of the people who visited Trump by September 8.

CREW said DHS claimed to have no logs for Trump Tower visitors.

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It is North Korea that has been provocative with, for example, the bombardment of the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong in 2010. The North has responded with its own propaganda broadcasts and sent anti-Seoul leaflets via giant balloons across the border.

"The public deserves to know who is coming to meet with the president and his staff", Noah Bookbinder, CREW's executive director, said in a statement.

CREW spokesman Jordan Libowitz told NBC News Monday that his group would "release whatever we're going to get" but said it was unlikely the identities and personal information of private guests of members other than Trump would be released. President Barack Obama made public White House visitor logs beginning in September 2009, after four lawsuits by CREW.

But, while the Obama administration did release those records, critics noted that they weren't as useful as they could have been.

The suit, filed in the Southern District of NY, cited multiple Freedom of Information Act requests that it alleged had been ignored by the Secret Service.

The White House argues the records are exempt from the law.

Other reports by BadHub

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