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White House releases list of Mar-a-Lago visitors - with 22 names
17 September 2017, 02:34 | Erica Roy
Donald Trump. Win McNamee Getty Images
The government paid more than $1,000 for an official to stay at President Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, The Washington Post reports. And on Friday, the government complied - with a whole 22 names.
On Friday the Justice Department had only "released a State Department list of just 22 names - all of them members of the delegation of the Japanese prime minister - who visited the club in February for a meeting with President Trump", the Timesreported.
Needless to say, this didn't satisfy those trying to access the department's full visitor logs. "We will be fighting this in court", the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) said a statement.
Trump's habit of visiting his properties has generated newfound public interest in who patronizes those establishments.
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.
Shapiro argues that a government payment to Trump-owned Mar-a-Lago violates the domestic emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution, which states that beyond his salary, the president "shall not receive...any other Emolument from the United States".
The government's payment to Trump's private Florida resort comes as the president faces longstanding concerns about his conflicts of interest - and, according to Property of the People'sOperation 45 project, "constitutes a direct, profitable payment from a USA government agency to a business personally owned by Donald Trump".
In a statement, CREW vowed to fight the government's action in court, and said the government was "spitting in the eye of transparency". At a news conference in Trump Tower in New York, Trump and Dillon outlined a plan to put Mar-a-Lago and other Trump properties under the control of a trust managed by Trump's adult sons and a longtime Trump Organization executive. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) only disclosed the names of several visitors to the private club, bucking a court order for an extensive list.
Trump stayed at Mar-a-Lago on March 3 and 4. "And the public has a right to know who lobbies the President, whether it's at the White House or the "Winter White House" or the 18th hole".
"The government seriously misrepresented their intetions to both us and the court", CREW's Bookbinder said.
Another advocacy group, Property of the People, had more luck with its FOIA request looking into U.S. Coast Guard records on expenses surrounding Trump properties.
The Obama administration had faced a similar lawsuit before it decided in late 2009 to start to make visitor logs public, a practice that stopped with Mr. Trump's arrival.
This $1,092 payment also represents only one two-night stay for one government official at Mar-a-Lago.
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