Monday, July 17, 2017

Watchdog Group Says Trump Must Turn Over Mar-a-Lago Visitor Records

Government Watchdog group Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington (CREW) said Monday that President rump’s Administration will have to Release Visitor Records for his Private Mar-a-Lago Club in response to a Lawsuit it Filed, though it’s far from clear it will get what it’s looking for.

CREW, which Filed Suit with the National Security Archive and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University for Logs of Visitors from Mar-a-Lago, the White House, and Trump Tower, said the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has agreed to release Mar-a-Lago’s logs by Sept. 8th. The Group has vowed to share the Records Publicly.

“The public deserves to know who is coming to meet with the president and his staff,” said Noah Bookbinder, CREW’s Executive Director. “We are glad that as a result of this case, this information will become public for meetings at his personal residences—but it needs to be public for meetings at the White House as well.”

The group declared it a “MAJOR CREW VICTORY” in a tweet Monday morning, but it’s Unclear what Records the Group will receive. In March, despite Efforts from Democrats to obtain Records of who’s coming in and out of Trump’s Pprivate Clubs, no one is actually keeping track, so they say.

Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s “Winter White House,” doesn’t log its Guests, even when the President is visiting the South Florida Seaside Club. Unlike Entry into the White House, getting into Mar-a-Lago doesn’t require a Comprehensive Background Check or a Weapon Screening. Members of the Private Club do frequently Submit Guests’ Names to the Front Desk for informal Visits and Events, but that Process doesn’t require personal details such as a Birth Date or Social Security number. There’s also no Official Check-In Procedure for Guests entering Mar-a-Lago.

I can't imagine there is not a written and Data Log of who comes and goes.

Asked about the apparent Discrepancy, CREW spokesman Jordan Libowitz replied, “We don't know exactly what records they have.” He explained that Court Documents call for DHS to produce “records of presidential visitors at Mar-a-Lago.” “What that means is somewhat of a mystery, but whatever records they kept, we will be getting,” Libowitz added.

According to CREW, DHS has said it has No Records of Trump Tower Visitors, but the Lawsuit is ongoing for Access to White House Visitors.


This Bill, introduced by Senator Tom Udall [D-NM], Senator Sheldon Whitehouse [D-RI], Senator Tom Carper [D-DE], and House Representative Mike Quigley [D-IL 5th], would require the Trump Administration to release Public Visitor Logs for both the White House “or any other location where President Trump regularly conducts official business.”

Udual stated that the Trump Administration is “Stonewalling” and avoiding Transparency. “It’s simple: the American people have a right to know who has access to the President and who has leverage over this Administration,” he said in a Statement.

The Legislation comes after Senate Democrats sent a Letter to Trump and William Callahan, the Secret Service Deputy Director, asking whether they Planned to Publish Visitor Logs.

John Wonderlich, Executive Director of the Sunlight Foundation, is also supporting the Bill, saying that Congress must Force the Administration to Public the Logs if they don’t Voluntarily do so. “As long as President Trump continues to conduct public business in his private business, the same standards of disclosure should apply to Mar-a-Lago as the White House,” he said.

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