White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday that President Biden would not publish logs of visitors to his Delaware residences, despite 17 trips in six months.
The move comes despite the Biden administration’s claim to “restore transparency and trust in government” – including with the resumption of limited publication of White House visitor logs.
“I can confirm that we are not going to provide information on the whereabouts of the president’s grandchildren or people visiting him in Delaware,” Psaki said during his daily press briefing in response to a report. question from The Post as to whether Biden would release the visitor. records, including family members with potential conflicts of interest.
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Transparency advocates say the same logic that applies to White House visitor logs applies to tapes of people who visit Biden at his home.
Tom Fitton, chairman of conservative group Judicial Watch, told The Post that the policy “mocks” White House claims about the transparency of the visitors’ diary.
“It’s an easy way around the so-called transparency they promise,” Fitton said.
“If they decide this information should be public, what are they hiding when it comes to visiting his home? The presidency doesn’t stop when he visits Delaware,” Fitton added.
“He’s probably at work. So the public had better know who’s visiting him there. Is Hunter [Biden] to visit him ? … [Joe Biden] is the one who invited Hunter to the VP’s office meeting with his business partners. “
The ties between Elder Biden and his son’s business ventures are often murky. For example, it’s unclear whether they discussed an upcoming art sale in which the first son hopes to collect up to $ 500,000 from anonymous buyers for his novice artwork. Hunter Biden also still owns a 10% stake in a Chinese investment fund formed with a public entity, according to recent reports.
Biden is expected to make his 18th and 19th presidential visits to Delaware next week. He usually stays at his home in Wilmington, Del., But has also visited his vacation home in Rehoboth Beach, Del.
The White House Biden had previously applauded for resuming the partial publication of the White House visitors’ logs, which aides to former President Donald Trump had terminated, calling the practice fictitious transparency due to officials withholding many entries.
These newspapers give the public insight into visitors entering and leaving the White House campus for appointments, visits and official business – upholding President Biden’s pledge to restore integrity, transparency and trust in government, ”Biden’s news outlet said in Mai.
Psaki said on Friday that “every president is always working, no matter where they are,” responding specifically to a question about Biden’s vacation plans.
The Obama administration began publishing visitor diaries in 2009 as part of its policy to resolve the lawsuits of the liberal group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. Trump in 2017 ended the practice
Presidents can choose what to reveal on visitor logs thanks to a Federal Court of Appeal ruling that Attorney General Merrick Garland wrote as a judge in 2013.
Garland wrote for a three-judge panel that the president’s constitutional right to confidential communications means that the Freedom of Information Act does not apply to visitor logs held by the Secret Service.
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Judicial Watch had sued Obama for the complete files, arguing that they were reviewable under FOIA and that any national security or privacy concerns could be addressed through specific deletions defined by law.
Trump’s White House used Garland’s decision to suppress the newspaper disclosure. Then-White House communications director Michael Dubke said the decision was made in part because of “serious national security risks and privacy concerns for hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.” .
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