The government watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (or CREW), have been trying to make the visitor logs for the White House, Trump Tower, and Mar-a-Lago made public. Beginning this fall, they’ll see some progress to that end.
On Monday morning, the group announced that the Department of Homeland Security will be turning over visitor logs for President Trump’s Florida club, Mar-a-Lago by September 8, 2017. They, in turn, intend to make the information public.
CREW was one of several organizations that have sued to see just who the Trump administration is entertaining. The National Security Archive and the Knight First Amendment Institute have also been on a mission to gain more transparency from Trump.
Mar-a-Lago is a start. DHS says there are no records of who visits Trump Tower, and Trump has refused to turn over visitor logs for the White House.
To be fair, CREW took the same fight to President Obama, who also balked at the notion of turning over White House visitor logs. Eventually, however, the lawsuit forced him to hand over that information.
“The public deserves to know who is coming to meet with the president and his staff,” CREW executive director Noah Bookbinder said in a statement. “We are glad 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.”
I would say especially the White House. That is not Trump’s personal residence. That is property of the U.S. citizenry.
Senate Democrats sought to get in on the action, as well, and tossed out a clumsily worded bill, in order to gain access to those records.
The Make Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness Act (MAR-A-LAGO, get it?) seeks to make visitor logs of any place where the president conducts official business a part of public record.