As With Bush, Obama Won't Release WH Visitors List

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2009 10:27 AM CDT
A large tree is seen toppled over on the North Lawn of the White House as a strong storm moves through the area, June 9, 2009.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Despite President Obama’s promise of transparency, the administration is blocking requests for the White House visitors list, MSNBC reports, defying two federal court rulings that the lists are public record. In addition to denying MSNBC’s request for a list of all visitors since Jan. 20, the Secret Service turned down a nonpartisan watchdog group’s request for records of visits by coal executives.

“We are deeply disappointed that the Obama administration is following the same anti-transparency policy as the Bush administration,” said an attorney for the watchdog group, which intends to sue the Department of Homeland Security for the records. The Obama administration, like President Bush’s before it, says the logs are presidential records and aren’t subject to the Freedom of Information Act.