White House reviewing policy on visitor logs

The administration is reviewing a 2006 lawsuit to determine its next step in a dispute with msnbc.com and a government watchdog, which are demanding to see White House visitor logs.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday that the White House counsel's office and "some other people" are reviewing the Bush-era lawsuit over the logs, looking at a number of issues, including whether the new administration is bound by precedent.

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Both msnbc.com and the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) have requested the lists of visitors to the White House, but administration officials have pushed back, arguing that the president needs to meet with some people in secret.

CREW reportedly filed a lawsuit for access to the logs on Tuesday.

While Gibbs said the White House is reviewing the litigation, he added that "there are obviously occasions in which the president is going to meet privately with advisers on topics that are of great national importance."

Reporters at the White House daily briefing asked Gibbs how that mentality can be reconciled with Obama's campaign promise for greater transparency than the Bush administration.

"The goal is — and I think the president underscored his commitment to transparency on his first full day in office," Gibbs said. "This is not a contest between this administration or that administration or any administration. It's to uphold the principle of open government."

Gibbs added that he does not want to get ahead of what the review might conclude, but he said he does not have a timeline for when that review might end.

This article was updated on June 17 at 12:31 p.m.

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