Trump Visitor Logs On Appeal in 2nd Circuit

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Knight Institute, CREW Argue for Opening Secret Service Records

Claims No Records System for Mar-a-Lago Visitors

Hides Mar-a-Lago Visitor Records

Visitor Logs Release Delayed to Sept. 15

Orders Sep. 8 Deadline for Mar-a-Lago Visitor Records Release

Hides White House Visitor Logs

Visitor Logs Subject to FOIA Lawsuit

D.C., January 8, 2019
– The National Security Archive,
together with the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and
the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), is continuing
the fight to open the White House visitor logs and the records of presidential
visitors to Trump properties, including Mar-a-Lago. The Obama administration
routinely released the logs, which are created and controlled by the Secret
Service, with no harm to national security or personal privacy.

The three
organizations filed an appeal in the Second Circuit this week, arguing that the
logs are agency records clearly subject to the FOIA, not presidential records
that only become available starting five years after the president leaves
office. The appeal challenges the district court decision that effectively let
“the Secret Service hide their records of everyone who lobbies the
President,” according to Archive Director Tom Blanton. In the district
court decision, Judge Katherine Polk Failla of the Southern District of New
York relied on a 2013 D.C. Circuit ruling in finding that the visitor logs for
core White House offices are not subject to the FOIA, although she agreed that
certain other parts of the Executive Office of the President are covered.

The Secret
Service has already admitted during the course of the lawsuit that it maintains
no records system for tracking the president’s visitors at Mar-a-Lago and other
Trump properties, meaning anyone – foreign lobbyists and otherwise – can pay
for access to the president without being vetted or recorded. A recent
York Times story
reports, however, that the Secret Service did compile a “screening
” of Mar-a-Lago employees to conduct background checks; the screening
list included the employee names, addresses, Social Security numbers, and other

The only
record the government has released so far in response to the Archive’s FOIA
suit is 
document, totaling two pages
, concerning the visit of Japanese Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe – this after United States Attorney Sarah S. Normand told Judge
Failla and the plaintiffs that DHS would produce all the visitor logs, of which
the DOJ said there was a “substantial” amount “numbering in the hundreds.”

The documents

Document 1


Doyle v. DHS, January 7, 2019

Sourse: FOIA

in Doyle v. DHS argues that White House visitor logs and the records of
presidential visitors to Trump properties are agency records subject to FOIA,
not presidential records. 

Document 2


Appendix, Doyle v. DHS, January 7, 2019

Source: FOIA

Appendix in appeal filed for Doyle v. DHS