CREW to get Mar-a-Lago visitor records - CREW

Cheryl Sanders
July 17, 2017

A government watchdog group announced Monday that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will comply with their request for the release of visitor records for President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence, made as part of an ongoing ethics lawsuit against Trump.

The lawsuit, filed in January in the Southern District of NY, alleges Trump is violating the Constitution's emoluments clause whenever foreign entities lease Trump real estate or pay to stay at the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C.

As it stands now, nobody outside the administration knows who is visiting the president at the White House, Trump Tower, or the "Southern White House", the Mar-A-Lago resort in Florida. "We hoped that the Trump administration would follow the precedent of the Obama administration and continue to release visitor logs, but unfortunately they have not", Bookbinder said in April after the lawsuit was filed. A federal judge ruled the administration must release certain visitor logs on Friday.

While Trump has turned over control of his businesses to his sons, critics have pointed out that Mar-a-Lago's initiation fees doubled to $200,000 after his election and that the president's frequent appearances at the club he's dubbed the "Winter White House" could provide unique access to him for those who can pay. CREW will publicly release the visitor logs upon receiving them by September 8th. "We are glad that as a result of this case, this information will become public for meetings at his personal residences, but it needs to be public for meetings at the White House as well", commented Noah Bookbinder, CREW director, in a statement on Monday. The records were released in long lists that failed to note why the visitors were there.

It also sued for visitor logs from Trump Tower, but DHS says it doesn't have records of visitors for that location.

Trump has visited that property four times since May, when Mar-a-Lago closed.

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