"See you in court, Mr. President", a watchdog group warned on Friday, after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), under pressure from a federal lawsuit, released just two pages of Mar-a-Lago visitor records, despite earlier promises to reveal the full list of visitors to President Donald Trump's so-called Winter White House.
The other is a list of who exactly is visiting his palatial Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago.
The Department of Homeland Security agreed this summer to hand over records related to the property's visitors in September.
"The remaining records that the Secret Service has processed in response to the Mar-a-Lago request contain, reflect, or otherwise relate to the President's schedules".
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), the National Security Archive (NSA), and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University have been seeking the records, with the intent to publish them.
He often brought an entourage of top White House officials with him, even using Mar-a-Lago as a place to meet with world leaders, like President Xi Jinping of China.
Trump has been repeatedly accused of violating the domestic emoluments clause, which stipulates that the "president shall, at stated times, receive for his services a compensation which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that period any other emolument from the United States or any of them". Crew said in a statement that an additional lawsuit to obtain White House visitor logs was ongoing. Trump bought Mar-a-Lago in 1985 and proceeded to fuck it up harder than Betsy DeVos's McMansion architect.
"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", CREW executive director Noah Bookbinder said after the ruling, according to NBC News.
The White House announced in April that it would not be making public the logs of visitors to the White House complex, breaking with the practice of Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama. "The government believes that Presidential schedule information is not subject to" the Freedom of Information Act, they wrote. During the latter's visit, Mar-a-Lago members had a front-row seat as Trump and his Japanese counterpart dealt with a North Korean missile test in the club's members-only dining area.
"This is spitting in the eye of transparency". "We vehemently disagree. The government seriously misrepresented their intentions to both us and the court".
Seeing the names of people who come and go can help the public understand who has the ear of the administration on important policy matters.
National Security Archive director Tom Blanton blasted the partial disclosure and asserted that the White House may have prevented the disclosure of more records.
This $1,092 payment also represents only one two-night stay for one government official at Mar-a-Lago.