Occasionally, Joe Biden speaks of how his houseguests influence his political views. For instance, Biden said a family friend educated him on rising prices amid four-decade-high inflation in January.
Join Our Telegram Chanel Here: Donald Trump News
“I was sitting in my kitchen yesterday and here’s a sunroom off the kitchen and my wife was there with her sister and a good friend named Mary Ann,” Biden recalled. “And she was saying, ‘Do you realize it’s over $5 for a pound of hamburger meat? $5?’”
The battle for presidential visitor logs has been fought by transparency groups with mixed success, losing notable appeals cases in Washington and New York.
CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) successfully sued to obtain limited records related to a visit by a Japanese delegation to former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, but no specifics were included.
“While we won access to those records, we never got much, as the Secret Service came out and said they were not vetting the president’s meetings, the Trump Organization was,” said Jordan Libowitz, spokesperson for CREW.
“I have not seen any reporting that there is a ton of official business and outside meetings being done when Biden goes to his personal residence in Delaware for the weekend, mainly just going to church,” Libowitz continued. “If he were meeting with foreign heads of state at his house in Delaware, that would obviously be a different matter, though.”
According to reports, US Secret Service officials have claimed that they have “no records” of president Biden’s visitors to his Delaware residences and therefore are not obligated to share that information.
While Biden was at his homes in Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach for about a quarter of the days of his first year in office, little information is available about who stopped by for meetings or less formal lobbying efforts, such as members of his family.
In response to a Freedom of Information Act request for more than one year of visitor log records, including those from Biden’s first year in office, Secret Service Freedom of Information Act officer Kevin Tyrrell wrote that “[t]he Secret Service FOIA Office searched all Program Offices that were likely to contain potentially responsive records, and no records were located.”
Hunter Biden is being investigated for possible tax fraud and lobbying on behalf of foreign governments in which his father held sway as the vice president. With the assistance of his uncle Jim Biden, the younger Biden worked on some overseas projects.
Several documents and photographs found on a laptop formerly owned by Hunter Biden reveal that he brought his dad into contact with business associates from China, Mexico, Russia and Ukraine – including at the vice president’s residence in Washington.
For his first year in office, Biden resided at one of his Delaware homes 99 days, including occasions when he met with members of Congress, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to lobby Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV).
Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, another conservative watchdog group that has sued for presidential visitor logs, said Secret Service agents are playing a “shell game” by claiming the logs belong to the White House instead of the agency.
“Obviously the Secret Service knows and tracks who is visiting President Biden at his homes in Delaware and they are playing a shell game with the public to keep that information secret,” Fitton stated.
In January, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden would not voluntarily publish visitors’ logs from Delaware:
“Well, the president goes to Delaware because it’s his home. It’s also where his son and his former wife are buried. And it’s a place that is obviously close to his heart. A lot of presidents go visit their home when they are president. We also have gone a step further than the prior administration in many administrations in releasing visitor logs of people who visit the White House and will continue to do that.”
Thanks to a 2013 ruling by then-Attorney General Merrick Garland, presidents can select which information appears in visitor logs.
Despite the fact that visitor logs kept by the Secret Service appear to meet the definition of “agency records” under the Freedom of Information Act, Garland argued for a three-judge panel that the President’s constitutional right to confidentiality forbids the Freedom of Information Act to apply.
Join Our Telegram Chanel Here: Donald Trump News
The Obama administration had been sued by Judicial Watch for complete White House logs, which were under FOIA review and which could be redacted if national security or privacy issues arose. To settle lawsuits from CREW, the Obama administration released some visitor logs in 2009, but withheld others, leading to accusations of false transparency.
Initially, the Biden White House welcomed the return of partial visitor logs last year, stating in May, “These logs give the public a look into the visitors entering and exiting the White House campus for appointments, tours, and official business — making good on President Biden’s commitment to restore integrity, transparency, and trust in government.”
Apparently, that’s changed. Perhaps because Biden doesn’t want us to know who Hunter is getting his 10% from these days and influencing his policy decisions.