Quigley Statement on Release of Mar-a-Lago Visitor Logs by Ethics Watchdog

Jul 17, 2017

Rep. Mike Quigley (IL-05), who serves as co-chair and co-founder of the Congressional Transparency Caucus and is a member of the House Intelligence Committee, released the following statement after Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) announced it will be making visitor logs to President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort public starting this fall. In March, Rep. Quigley introduced the Making Access Records Available to Lead American Government Openness (MAR-A-LAGO) Act, a bicameral bill that requires the publication of visitor logs to the White House or any other location where President Trump regularly conducts official business, including various Trump Organization properties.

“Given the Administration’s continued confusion over who spoke with who and when, it is imperative that the public has unbiased insight into what individuals are meeting with White House staff,” said Rep. Quigley. “I applaud the announcement by CREW that it will release public visitor logs to President Trump’s ‘Southern White House,’ which will shed light on those who hold access and yield influence. Simple, straightforward transparency policies like these should not be a struggle, but I appreciate the work by CREW and other ethics watchdogs to hold the President accountable when he tries to stonewall information. In Congress, I will continue my efforts to make our government as open as possible, which includes continuing my push for public visitors logs not only at Mar-a-Lago but also the Oval Office and any other location where official business takes place.”

Rep. Quigley introduced the MAR-A-LAGO Act in response to the Trump administration’s refusal to extend the pro-transparency policy established by former President Barack Obama to release visitor logs at the White House 90 to 120 days after they were created. The bill, which Rep. Quigley introduced as part of a larger transparency package in the four previous Congresses, requires the publication of these visitor logs to ensure that the American people have information about who has access to and may be influencing the Trump administration. In addition, due to President Trump’s frequent use of his private business properties for official business, the MAR-A-LAGO Act mandates the disclosure of visitor lists at locations like the Trump Organization’s Mar-A-Lago Club, Trump Tower in New York City, and the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

In June, Rep. Quigley introduced the Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement or “COVFEFE” Act, another transparency bill that codifies vital guidance from the National Archives by amending the Presidential Records Act to include the term “social media” as a documentary material, ensuring additional preservation of presidential communication and statements while promoting government accountability and transparency.