Offbeat Secret Service Says It Does Not Have Complete Mar-A-Lago Visitor Logs

16:20  05 october  2017
16:20  05 october  2017 Source:   MSN

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In a filing late Wednesday night, a Secret Service official said that they do not have complete visitor logs for President Donald Trump’s Mar - a - Lago resort in Florida and that they are not aware of any system to keep track of visitors to the president there.

"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 order reads.

View (looking east) towards the pool and spa of the Mar-a-Lago estate, Palm Beach, Florida, February 13, 2017. © Davidoff Studios/Getty Images View (looking east) towards the pool and spa of the Mar-a-Lago estate, Palm Beach, Florida, February 13, 2017.

In a filing late Wednesday night, a Secret Service official said that they do not have complete visitor logs for President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and that they are not aware of any system to keep track of visitors to the president there.

The declaration from Special Agent Kim Campbell filed by the Department of Justice came in response to an April Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, and the National Security Archives. The groups sued for access to visitors records from the White House, Trump Tower, and Mar-a-Lago.

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The lawsuit, filed by CREW, the National Security Archive, and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University in April, argued that “to date, the Secret Service has not responded to” FOIA requests regarding visitor logs from Mar - a - Lago , the White House, and Trump Tower.

The suit, filed in the Southern District of New York, cited multiple Freedom of Information Act requests that it alleged had been ignored by the Secret Service . “The government does not appear to keep regular records of presidential visitors to Mar - a - Lago or Trump Tower, and it continues to argue that

In September, the Justice Department released the names of only 22 visitors to Mar-a-Lago, all from the weekend Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Trump at Mar-a-Lago. At the time, CREW scoffed at the incomplete records release.

Now, the Secret Service has offered its explanation for its failure to release a full list of presidential visitors as Mar-a-Lago.

Campbell wrote in the declaration that “there is no system for keeping track of Presidential visitors at Mar-a-Lago, as there is at the White House Complex.”

“Specifically, it was determined that there is no grouping, listing or set of records that would reflect Presidential visitors to Mar-a-Lago,” Campbell added.

Campbell said that the Secret Service searched in several places, including emails from Secret Service employees, for records of visitors to Trump at Mar-a-Lago but came up empty handed. She added that the Secret Service did not include in its search records for Trump family members, White House staff, cabinet leaders, or local law enforcement officials scheduled to meet the President.

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The Secret Service confirmed Wednesday that it does possess some information about Trump's meeting schedules during his Mar - a - Lago weekends – which might be functionally equivalent to visitor logs that the White House maintains.

“The Secret Service will complete its search for and processing of ‘responsive records of presidential visitors at Mar - a - Lago ,’ and produce any In April, the Trump administration said it would refuse to voluntarily disclose its White House visitor logs , breaking with an Obama-era precedent of doing so.

In a filing accompanying Campbell’s declaration, the Justice Department argued that it had not failed to comply with a court order laying out a schedule for handing over documents, noting that the order was only about scheduling, and was not a “determination on the merits as to the legal status of the Mar-a-Lago records.”

H/t Politico

This article was written by Caitlin MacNeal from Talking Points Memo and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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