Judge to White House: Turn Over Visitor Logs on Religious Commentators

CREW won a battle in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia today when Judge Royce Lamberth ordered the White House to turn over visitor logs of 9 religious commentators, including James Dobson, Gary Bauer and Jerry Falwell.

Visitor records are created by the Secret Service, which is subject to the Freedom of Information Act. But the Bush administration has ordered the data turned over to the White House, where they are treated as presidential records outside the scope of the public records law.

But U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth ruled logs from the White House and Vice President Dick Cheney's residence remain Secret Service documents and are subject to public records requests.

Lamberth refused a second request by CREW pertaining to the Jack Abramoff investigation. CREW wanted the judge to prevent the Secret Service from destroying its copies of visitor logs after tendering them to the White House. Lamberth said he lacked jurisdiction over the request. However,

Because the logs were declared Secret Service records, however, they cannot be destroyed without approval from the National Archives.

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    if the white house doesn't outright (none / 0) (#1)
    by cpinva on Mon Dec 17, 2007 at 03:02:59 PM EST
    refuse to comply with judge lamberth's order, what CREW will get, assuming the order is sustained on appeal, are heavily redacted documents, making them essentially useless, as sources of information.

    as with the cia tapes, among other instances, this administration will continue to fight tooth and nail, to maintain the heavy veil of secrecy shrouding its operations from public view.

    I am impressed. Judge Lamberth was a thorn (none / 0) (#2)
    by kindness on Mon Dec 17, 2007 at 05:16:52 PM EST
    in President Clinton's side during the 90's.  I had assumed he'd be just like other blowhards and go easy on bush43.

    It hasn't been that way at all.  This guy seems to be genuinely principled.  He's ruled against bushco on several matters, particularly in reigning in Executive Office over-reach.  God I'd love to see Addington's face when he hears the decisions handed down.

    Not that my take on the Republic is similar to Royce's, but at least he isn't a bought and paid for cad.

    can someone connect the dots here for me? (none / 0) (#3)
    by A DC Wonk on Tue Dec 18, 2007 at 12:42:18 PM EST
    We already know that Bush et al are regularly on conference phone calls with Dobson et al.

    So what are these records supposed to show.  That they visited, too?  Isn't that kinda obvious.  What does it add to what we already know?