In April, Donald Trump’s White House announced it would break with recent tradition and no longer make its visitor logs public. The news predictably resulted in the rediscovery of several old tweets in which the president ridiculed his predecessor for similarly secretive measures in his administration. However, it also instigated a lawsuit by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and a new bill by Congressional Democrats, the MAR-A-LAGO ACT — both of which called for Trump to reveal visitor logs for all places where he “regularly conducts official business.”
Just over three months later, CREW announced it will receive and publish visitor logs from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence by September 8th. In conjunction with the National Security Archive and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, the organization’s “ongoing litigation” succeeded in requiring the Department of Homeland Security to “turn over visitor logs for President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence” by the date indicated.
“The public deserves to know who is coming to meet with the president and his staff,” CREW Executive Director Noah bookbinder said. “We are glad that as a result of this case, this information will become public for meetings at his personal residencies — but it needs to be public for meetings at the White House as well.”
The joint lawsuit initially sued for access to visitor logs for Mar-a-Lago, Trump Tower in New York City and the White House. While the first has proven successful, Homeland Security claims to have kept to records of who has visited Trump Tower since Trump won the November election. Litigation concerning White House visitor logs, meanwhile, is still under consideration. Considering Donald Trump Jr.’s ongoing Trump Tower meeting debacle, and everything that’s known despite DHS’ lack of records, imagine what such records would reveal had the department kept records there.