Watch CBSN Live

Group will release Mar-a-Lago visitor logs, plans for another DHS lawsuit

Who's Trump meeting with?
Who's Trump meeting with? 02:10

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has agreed to release visitor logs for President Trump's "Winter White House," his family's private Mar-a-Lago resort in West Palm Beach, and the information will be released to the public in early September.

In a press release on Monday, the left-leaning nonprofit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) cited its ongoing litigation in conjunction with the National Security Archive (NSA) and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University in DHS' decision to "turn over visitor logs for President Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence."

According to the release, DHS has until September 8 to send information to CREW about "presidential visitors" of the luxurious country club and golf course, where Mr. Trump has spent more than 20 days since his inauguration. The club is owned by the Trump Organization. 

In April, CREW, NSA and Knight sued DHS under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to attain visitor information from Mar-a-Lago, the White House and Trump Tower in New York City. The suit was prompted after the Secret Service, which is part of DHS, refused to comply with requests to release White House visitor logs.  

Record low job approval for Trump 02:46

CREW's Jordan Libowitz told CBS News that the nonprofit will eventually file another request to the DHS to release visitor logs of presidential guests at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, which Mr. Trump just visited over the weekend to attend the U.S. Women's Open. 

"He had not visited Bedminster yet when we filed in April," Libowitz said. "However, we believe those records would be the same, and they should be turned over." 

Executive Director of CREW, Noah Bookbinder, said in Monday's press release that releasing visitor logs from Mar-a-Lago is necessary in part because the president has conducted meetings with staff members, government and foreign leaders there. 

"The public deserves to know who is coming to meet with the president and his staff," Bookbinder said in the statement. "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."  

Although the legal action pertaining to the White House logs is still ongoing, DHS must respond to the request by September 29. Additionally, DHS claims it does not have visitor information for Trump Tower. Citing privacy and national security concerns, the Trump administration said in April that it would not continue the precedent of releasing White House visitor logs set by the Obama administration in 2009 after multiple CREW-backed lawsuits.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue