The Trump Administration Will Finally Release Its Mar-a-Lago Visitor Logs

Thanks to a suit from CREW, which hopes records from Trump Tower and the White House are next.

Meghan Mccarthy/ZUMA

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The Department of Homeland Security will release the visitor logs from President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, thanks to an ongoing lawsuit filed by the government watchdog organization, Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington—a group that has been fiercely critical of the Trump administration’s lack of transparency and its potential conflicts of interest.

“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 Monday. “We are glad that as a result of this case, this information will become public for meetings at his his personal residences—but it needs to be public for meetings at the White House as well.”

The group said that it will receive the records by September 8—though there has been some ambiguity over what logs exist in the first place—and then make them available for public review. A federal judge ruled the administration must release certain visitor logs on Friday.

In April, CREW, along with the National Security Archive and Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, sued the Trump administration for access to visitor records at the White House, Trump Tower, and Mar-a-Lago, amid increasing concerns over the White House’s silence on whether it would make such documents public. Barring a few exceptions, the Obama administration started voluntarily releasing visitor logs in September 2009.

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. Experts have warned that the estate is extremely vulnerable to hackers and other cyber security threats.

In a 2012 tweet, Trump criticized Obama for being the “least transparent President ever.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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