President Donald Trump's meetings at his swanky Mar-a-Lago golf club in Florida are official government business and as such, the club's records of who attended them must be turned over to the public, a judge has ruled.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a left-leaning watchdog group, announced on Monday that it had won a lawsuit to compel the Department of Homeland Security to provide the visitor logs. Under court order, the records must be turned over to the group by Sept. 8. In a press release, CREW said that it would provide them to the public after receiving them.
“The public deserves to know who is coming to meet with the president and his staff,” CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said. “We are glad that as a result of this case, this information will become public for meetings at his his personal residences.”
The group was joined in its lawsuit by the National Security Archive (NSA) and the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University.
It's one step towards transparency for the Trump administration, which has refused to release even its White House visitor logs. For that, the White house cited national security reasons, saying the logs "were being withheld because of 'the grave national security risks and privacy concerns of the hundreds of thousands of visitors annually,'" according to the New York Times.
This was the second presidential visitor log case that CREW has won. In 2009, it successfully sued the former administration of Barack Obama for access to White House meeting records. The group said it will sue to get the Trump administration to release records of White House visitors as well.