Donald Trump is being sued — again. Three organizations have joined together to file suit against Mango Mussolini for his refusal to make White House visitor logs public.
The National Security Archive, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University have all filed a suit against the Department of Homeland Security under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Trump has ignored FOIA requests for the visitor logs and the suit is asking that the records be released.
“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,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said in a statement.
“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 three groups suing Trump are asking not only that the visitor logs for the White House be released, but also that he make records public from Mar-a-Lago where he holds many of his meetings, particularly on weekends. Trump likes to use his resort to schmooze foreign leaders, most recently meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping there just last week.
Tom Blanton, the director of the National Security Archive, said in a statement that the release of this information has been routine for many years. In September 2009, the Obama administration announced that they would release records of all visitors to the White House following multiple lawsuits that were filed by CREW.
“President Obama routinely released the data we’re seeking with no damage to presidential privilege, and this information is central to the Secret Service mission and thus clearly agency records subject to FOIA,” Blanton said.
According to another employee working for the National Security Archive, they were responsible for filing the first FOIA against the current administration just three days after Trump was sworn into office on January 23.
“When foreign officials go to see the president or his staff, the American people have a right to know who and when,” explained National Security Archive senior policy analyst Kate Doyle.
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