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Obama Not Legally Obligated to Release White House Visitors Log For 12 Years, Rules Federal Court

US

“A president that doesn’t want Americans, under law, to know who his visitors are is a president who doesn’t want to be accountable"

(AP)

A federal Circuit Court on Friday unanimously ruled that President Obama is not legally required to release the White House visitors log under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The 3-0 decision will allow Obama to keep records documenting individuals visiting him and much of his staff at the White House confidential for 12 years, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Judicial Watch, the group that brought about the lawsuit, skewered the decision made by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Friday.

“A president that doesn’t want Americans, under law, to know who his visitors are is a president who doesn’t want to be accountable," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

Barack Obama (Credit: AP)

"The legal gymnastics in this unprecedented decision shows that President Obama is not the only one willing to rewrite laws without going through Congress," he continued. "And this legal fight, in which President Obama is fighting tooth and nail against full disclosure under law of his White House visitors, further exposes his big lie that his administration is the most transparent in history."

Fitton added that his organization is "strongly considering" appealing the controversial ruling.

Judge Merrick Garland, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and appointee of President Clinton, however, defended the court's decision.

"Congress made clear that it did not want documents like the appointment calendars of the president and his close advisers to be subject to disclosure" under the Freedom of Information Act, he wrote.

In the ruling, Garland said disclosing the records would jeopardize the president's ability to meet confidentially with public leaders and members of the public.

According to the Washington Examiner, Obama refused to disclose all the White House logs to Judicial Watch in 2009, despite his promise to lead the "most transparent administration in history."

(H/T: Washington Examiner)

Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

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