Secret Service Sued Over Trump Residence Visitor LogsBy
Non-profit watchdog group CREW claims logs should be public
Group says Obama gave access to White House logs in 2009
A group led by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to get access to Secret Service logs of visits to the White House and President Donald Trump’s other occasional residences, the Mar-a-Lago club in Florida and Trump Tower in New York City.
CREW said the Secret Service, which maintains the logs, has refused to turn them over in response to requests filed under the Freedom of Information Act. The group, which also includes the National Security Archive and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, filed the lawsuit Monday in Manhattan federal court.
"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," CREW’s executive director, Noah Bookbinder, said in a statement Monday. “We had no choice but to sue.”
CREW said in the statement that former President Barack Obama in 2009 agreed to make his White House logs public after the group filed four lawsuits seeking access. The logs reflect the names of White House visitors, the dates of their visits and the name of the person requesting clearance for the visit, according to CREW.
The Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the Secret Service, didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the lawsuit.
CREW is separately pursuing a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court claiming payments from foreign governments to Trump’s businesses violate the Foreign Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits U.S. office holders from accepting gifts or profit from foreign states without the consent of Congress.
The case is Doyle v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 17-cv-02542, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).