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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