Government paid for official's stay at Trump's Mar-a-Lago club

Government paid for official's stay at Trump's Mar-a-Lago club

CREW and its partners in the effort - the National Security Archive and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University - sued in April to get access to presidential visitor logs for Mar-a-Lago, the White House and Trump Tower in NY. "I can only conclude the Trump White House intervened with the career lawyers", Bookbinder told USA Today.

The 22 names that were released Friday were all from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's trip to the resort in February. The rest will remain a mystery, at least for now.

The 22 names were released after liberal government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington - along with the National Security Archive and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University - filed a lawsuit seeking the logs.

In July, when the group announced it would get the records as part of ongoing litigation, Bookbinder argued "The public deserves to know who is coming to meet with the president and his staff", and said information about meetings at the White House should be public as well. "This was spitting the eye of the transparency".

But as we must boringly repeat, this president will not be impeached unless Democrats take back the House, and unless a supermajority of the Senate can be convinced that stealing from tax-payers like a cartoon robber baron, colluding with foreign governments, obstructing justice, and subverting due process are not qualities the country wants to see in its president.

A letter from U.S. Coast Guard Legal Services Office Chief Robert Teetsel, who responded to the Property of the People information request, says the Mar-a-Lago invoice was produced after "we queried the Government Travel Charge Card electronic data base for transactions involving Trump properties".

CREW had previously sued the Obama administration over transparency, prompting the White House to begin publishing visitor logs in 2009.

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On July 17, a U.S. District Court judge in NY ruled that the Secret Service would have to turn over the records of Mar-a-Lago visitors to the watchdog groups by September 8.

Mr. Trump visited Mar-a-Lago 25 times between his inauguration and the middle of May, when the club closes for the summer. But the government's lawyers have made the case that the bulk of the records do not have to be released.

"The government seriously misrepresented their intentions to both us and the court", Bookbinder said.

Friday's deadline to reveal those names came and went without any word from the Trump administration.

Tom Blanton, director of the National Security Archive and a co-plaintiff in the lawsuit, wrote in an email to ABC News that the "government misled the plaintiffs and the court".

This $1,092 payment also represents only one two-night stay for one government official at Mar-a-Lago. A receipt in that amount for a two-night stay in March, obtained by the advocacy group Property of the People through a public record request of the U.S. Coast Guard, is another example of how the president stands to profit from the presidency.

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