Tuesday, October 20, 2009
First Eight Months of Obama White House Visitor Logs Still Guarded
The White House settled a lawsuit with the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and announced last month that it would voluntarily publish White House visitor logs on its website beginning December 31. So one might except that the Obama administration would release similar records to other public interest groups in the meantime.
Not so. Through the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Secret Service said White House visitor logs fall under the Presidential Records Act, and thus are not subject to disclosure under the FOIA because they don't originate with a federal agency. The Secret Service denied the request of judicial watchdog group, Judicial Watch, for visitor log records from January 20 - September 15.
Judicial Watch issued a press release expressing its intent to continue to seek release of the records in question.