The Obama administration is appealing a judge’s ruling that Secret Service records of visitors to the White House complex are subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.
The Justice Department filed a formal notice of appeal Friday afternoon regarding U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell’s August ruling rejecting arguments that the so-called WAVES records belong to the White House even though they are maintained and used by the Secret Service.
The decision to appeal the ruling to the D.C. Circuit would appear to be in tension with Obama’s repeated pledges to operate the most transparent administration in history. The White House announced in Sept. 2009 that it was voluntarily releasing the names of most White House visitors from Sept. 15 forward. However, the conservative group Judicial Watch sought information on visits before that date.
The position taken by the Obama Justice Department, namely that White House visitor records are presidential records and not agency records, is essentially the same one that the department took under President George W. Bush.
Let’s listen to the howls of outrage coming from Left Blogistan: