Senate and House Democrats have introduced the “Mar-a-Lago Act” demanding that President Trump provide visitor logs to provide the names of people streaming to the pricey golf resort that he refers to as his “Winter White House.”
The difference with the actual White House is that visitors’ logs are supposed to be maintained there so the public can track visits by and possible presidential meetings with people such as lobbyists, foreign representatives — including Russians — and corporate heads.
The bill — awkwardly named the Make Access Records Available to Lead American Government Open Act so its acronym is Mar-a-Lago — would require that the Trump administration publish visitor logs at the White House or at any other other place where the president “regularly conducts official business.” Both the House Senate introduced their versions of the measure on Friday.
So far, the Trump administration hasn’t yet provided visitor logs at the White House, reports NBC.
Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) said of the bill in a statement: “It’s simple: the American people have a right to know who has access to the president and who has leverage over this administration.”
Senate bill co-author Sen. Tome Carper (D.-Del.) noted that the “business of the president of the United States is the business of the people of the United States. Americans have long had the right to know who has access and influence in the White House, and this tradition of sunlight on inner workings of the executive branch must continue.”
Senate Democrats sent a letter early this month requesting that the administration make Mar-a-Lago visitor logs available, but received no response.
The Obama administration began keeping visitor logs at the White House in 2009 — noting the names of 6 million visitors — after a lawsuit by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
The Mar-a-Lago bill has little chance of passage in a Republican-controlled legislature, but it serves to underscore to the public the secretive nature of Trump’s meetings within the walls of the private gold resort he owns where memberships cost $200,000.
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