Ethics watchdog group will release Mar-a-Lago visitors log

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington says the Department of Homeland Security agreed to hand over records of visitors to the property by September 8.

The watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) in Washington announced a “major victory” Monday on Twitter – its lawsuit has prevailed in obtaining the visitor logs from President Donald Trump’s Florida getaway.

Since becoming president, Trump has visited the Palm Beach resort more than 20 times, using the grounds to conduct high-level meetings with world leaders such as Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

“The Secret Service will complete its search for and processing of ‘responsive records of presidential visitors at Mar-a-Lago, ‘ and produce any non-exempt responsive records, by September 8, 2017”, the two-page ruling, issued by a U.S. District Court for the Southern District of NY judge, stated.

The Department of Homeland Security said the logs will be turned over by September 8.

Government officials have indicated that there have been no records kept of visitors to Trump Tower.

CREW Communications Director Jordan Libowitz says the scope of the Mar-a-Lago records is unknown, “but finding out is part of why we brought the suit”.

The group has also challenged Trump’s decision to stop publishing White House visitors’ logs, a case that is ongoing. A federal judge ruled the administration must release certain visitor logs on Friday.

The Obama administration began voluntarily disclosing its visitor records in 2009 after CREW sued and won.

“The Obama administration agreed to release the visitor logs in response to our lawsuits, and despite the Trump administration’s worry over ‘grave national security risks and concerns, ‘ only positives for the American people came out of them”.