Watchdogs Sue Trump Admin For Visitor Logs At WH, Trump Tower, Mar-A-Lago

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Watchdog groups on Monday filed a lawsuit accusing the Department of Homeland Security of violating the Freedom of Information Act by refusing to release records of visitors to the White House, Trump Tower and Mar-a-Lago.

National Security Archive researcher Kate Doyle, as well as the archive itself, the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, filed the suit against DHS, which oversees the Secret Service.

The lawsuit seeks “injunctive relief ordering DHS to process and release to plaintiffs immediately the requested records” of visitors to the White House and President Donald Trump’s residences.

In 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the Secret Service is not obligated by FOIA to disclose White House visitor logs upon request.

Plaintiffs filed the new lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, possibly to distance the case from that precedent. While the White House is mostly exempt from FOIA requests, executive agencies such as the Secret Service are not.

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Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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