Dems introduce bill requiring disclosure of guest logs from White House, Trump properties

Dems introduce bill requiring disclosure of guest logs from White House, Trump properties
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Democrats in the House and Senate on Tuesday introduced a bill mandating the publication of visitor logs at the White House and other personal properties where President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump mocks wind power: 'When the wind doesn't blow, just turn off the television' Pentagon investigator probing whether acting chief boosted former employer Boeing Trump blasts McCain, bemoans not getting 'thank you' for funeral MORE conducts business.

Sen. Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallOvernight Energy: DC moves closer to climate lawsuit against Exxon | Dems call for ethics investigation into Interior officials | Inslee doubles down on climate in 2020 bid Dem lawmakers call for investigation into Interior officials over alleged ethics violations The Hill's 12:30 Report: Manafort sentenced to total of 7.5 years in prison MORE (D-N.M.) and Rep. Mike QuigleyMichael (Mike) Bruce QuigleyDems fear Trump is looking at presidential pardons Dems introduce bill requiring disclosure of guest logs from White House, Trump properties Alito, Kagan oppose cameras in Supreme Court MORE (D-Ill.), co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Transparency Caucus, respectively, introduced the Making Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness (Mar-A-Lago) Act, a nod to Trump's private Mar-a-Lago club in Florida. The legislation was first introduced in the previous congressional term.

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“No one should have greater access to or influence over the president or the administration just because they are wealthy, well-connected, or a regular at one of the president’s private clubs,” Udall said in a statement. “The administration’s refusal to disclose White House visitor logs – and the president’s insistence on conducting official business out of his private business properties – have created an environment where people seeking to influence the administration can access officials at the highest levels of government without public scrutiny.” 

“The power of the presidency comes with a responsibility to provide the public with the records of those trying to influence our democracy. The MAR-A-LAGO Act is about upholding the integrity of the Oval Office and, based on this president’s track record, we know that transparency is not a priority of his, making public access to these visitor logs an absolute necessity,” Quigley added. 

Democratic Sens. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDems introduce bill requiring disclosure of guest logs from White House, Trump properties Sanders announces first staff hires in Iowa, New Hampshire McConnell works to freeze support for Dem campaign finance effort MORE (R.I.), Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperBiden's challenge: Satisfying the left Dems introduce bill requiring disclosure of guest logs from White House, Trump properties Lobbying world MORE (Del.), Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichDems introduce bill requiring disclosure of guest logs from White House, Trump properties Senate Dems seek to turn tables on GOP in climate change fight Senate Dems introduce bill demanding report on Khashoggi killing MORE (N.M.), Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedOvernight Defense: Pentagon lists construction projects at risk from emergency declaration | Officials deny report on leaving 1,000 troops in Syria | Spy budget request nears B Pentagon sends Congress list of projects that could lose funds to Trump's emergency declaration Overnight Defense: Senate rejects border emergency in rebuke to Trump | Acting Pentagon chief grilled on wall funding | Warren confronts chief over war fund budget MORE (R.I.), Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenCongress should take action to stop unfair taxation of the digital economy Trump officials take bold steps on Medicaid GOP steps up attack over tech bias claims MORE (Ore.) and Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoCitizens lose when partisans play politics with the federal judiciary Warren, Harris, Gillibrand back efforts to add justices to Supreme Court Liberal commentator: Trump's warning that supporters could play tough is a 'violent dog whistle' MORE (Hawaii) are all co-sponsoring the legislation.

Udall and Quigley said the legislation is in response to the Trump administration’s refusal to extend policies established under former President Obama to disclose White House visitor logs 90 to 120 days after they were made. Their bill would require publication of visitor logs 90 days after their creation.

Trump has been known to conduct domestic and foreign negotiations at his properties across the country, particularly at his Mar-a-Lago club. He regularly golfs with Senate allies and has hosted foreign leaders, such as Chinese President Xi Jinping, at his properties to conduct negotiations on trade and other issues. 

“President Trump has also taken the unusual and potentially dangerous step of conducting official business in the plain view of guests at his high-priced Mar-A-Lago club. The MAR-A-LAGO Act requires the disclosure of visitors to the club and to other Trump Organization properties to make certain there is transparency about who has unprecedented access to President Trump at these locations,” Udall and Quigley said.

The two Democrats also referenced a recent report from Mother Jones saying the founder of a chain of Florida spas where New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft allegedly solicited a prostitute was advertising access to the president and others at Mar-a-Lago.