Three open-government groups have recently filed lawsuits against the Trump administration on Monday. Their argument said that withholding the White House, visitor logs is breaking the Freedom of Information Act. During President Obama’s administration, publishing the names of visitors became a routine occurrence.
President Obama released the logs after his administration was sued in 2009. His policy still allowed some guests to remain unnamed, but by the end of his eight years, his administration released around 6 million names. The strategy that was used while Obama was in office is the same strategy that the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, and the National Security Archive are using to sue the Trump administration.
CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder issued the following statement about the logs:
“We hoped that the Trump administration would follow the precedent of the Obama administration and continue to release visitor logs, but unfortunately they have not. Given the many issues we have already seen in this White House with conflicts of interest, outside influence, and potential ethics violations, transparency is more important than ever, so we had no choice but to sue.”
The lawsuit came after the three organizations didn’t hear back from Secret Service. According to Mother Jones, the White House Secret Service keeps all records of visitors. The lack of information is what pushed these organizations to sue. Alex Abdo of the Knight First Amendment Institute said the following of the secrecy of keeping the logs:
“This is a case about the public’s right to know who wields influence over the most powerful office in our government. In our view, the Freedom of Information Act requires the government to make this information available to the public.”
There is absolutely a reason to want to see who is entering the White House, but what if the hidden logs are for the protection of those visiting? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
Credit: Mother Jones