Three organizations are reportedly suing the Trump administration over the fact that they have not made the White House visitor logs public.
The organizations in question — The National Security Archive, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University — have filed the suit under the Freedom of Information Act. However, the lawsuit has been formally filed against the Department of Homeland Security because the Secret Service has not provided this information despite repeated FOIA requests.
In a statement, Noah Bookbinder, CREW executive director, explained,
“We hoped that the Trump administration would follow the precedent of the Obama administration and continue to release visitor logs, but unfortunately they have not…Given the many issues we have already seen in this White House with conflicts of interest, outside influence, and potential ethics violations, transparency is more important than ever, so we had no choice but to sue.”
The request, however, is not limited to the White House visitor logs, but also includes records that show who meets the president as his properties in both Florida and New York, where he frequently meets with guests, including world leaders like Chinese President Xi Jinping.
President Obama and his administration “routinely released the data” that CREW seeks to collect, according to the director of the National Security Archive Tom Blanton. He also explained that the former president did so, “with no damage to presidential privilege, and this information is central to the Secret Service mission and thus clearly agency records subject to FOIA.”
CNN political commentator David Gergen gave a great description of the matter and also soundly addressed Trump surrogate Jason Miller on the administration’s refusal to release visitor logs here: