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Ethics watchdog to release Mar-a-Lago visitor logs
Government watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) will be making public visitor logs to President Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort starting this fall.
CREW on Monday announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will turn over visitor logs to Trump's property by Sept. 8 as part of ongoing litigation with the group, who in turn will make them public.
CREW, the National Security Archive and the Knight First Amendment Institute sued for logs to Trump Tower, the White House and Mar-a-Lago to be released. Their lawsuit on White House logs is pending, and DHS claims to have no records for visitors to Trump Tower, according to a statement from CREW.
The Obama administration released their visitor logs starting in 2009 after a similar CREW lawsuit, but the Trump White House announced in April that they would break with the practice.
"The public deserves to know who is coming to meet with the president and his staff," CREW executive director Noah Bookbinder said in a statement. "We are glad as a result of this case, this information will become public for meetings at his personal residences - but it needs to be public for meetings at the White House as well."
Senate Democrats earlier this year proposed the Make Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness Act, or MAR-A-LAGO Act, to force Trump to release visitor logs to the White House or other locations where he conducts official business. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) also introduced a House version of the legislation.
The Florida residence is a popular weekend destination for the president, with Trump even hosting Chinese President Xi Jinping there.