Nothing to see here.
That’s the federal government’s response to a watchdog group that has sought names of visitors to President Trump at Mar-a-Lago. Last month, the government provided names of people related to a visit by the Japanese prime minister, which triggered more court action from the liberal group CREW.
Thursday, the group released a document from the Secret Service saying no more records are available. Essentially, there is no system in place to track visitors, the government said.
“From the outset, the government represented to us and the court that while they would fight the release of White House visitor records, they would produce records of presidential visitors at Mar-a-Lago, and their representations and the length of time they requested sent the clear signal that there would be far more than the 22 names we received, “ Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said.
“So we were surprised and disappointed that they reneged, now claiming, ‘it was determined that there is no grouping, listing, or set of records that would reflect Presidential visitors to Mar-a-Lago.’ Surely, the Japanese Prime Minister’s delegation is not the only presidential visitors for whom clearance was sought. We will be pressing the court for the full set of records that does exist.
“If the government’s statement is true, however, and there really are no records documenting the many people President Trump has met with at Mar-a-Lago, the government has just revealed that everyone from lobbyists to foreign agents can buy secret access to the president--without accountability or even a simple record--by paying his personal business. And that is terrifying.”
--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times