Treasury Department agents protecting U.S. presidents apparently believe their “secret” service means making everything involving a president secret. The Secret Service denied a Freedom of Information request for emails noting visitors to President Joe Biden’s Delaware homes.
President Biden, who promised a transparent administration, faces questioning about visitors who may have gained access to classified documents illegally stored in his homes. His armed guards have previously said they do not keep a formal log of visitors at the Delaware residents like they do for White House visitors.
The New York Post further reported:
The Secret Service is refusing to hand over emails that identify visitors to President Biden’s homes in Delaware, telling The Post in response to a Freedom of Information Act request that it can’t legally do so.
The information could bear on high-profile controversies involving the Biden family’s business dealings and the president’s mishandled classified records.
A Secret Service FOIA officer cited a federal appeals court ruling in New York regarding visitor information for former President Donald Trump’s residences, even though the ruling doesn’t bind the actions of officials in Delaware or in DC.
“Please be advised that emails reflecting visitors to President Biden’s residences in Wilmington, Delaware and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware are not agency records subject to the FOIA. See Doyle v. U.S. Dep’t of Homeland Sec., 959 F.3d 72 (2d Cir. 2020)(finding that e-mails regarding expected visitors to the sitting President’s residence were not agency records subject to the FOIA.),” the officer said in a letter.
The Secret Service claimed last year that “no records were located” showing logs of Biden’s Delaware visitors in response to a FOIA request filed by The Post.
In late September, the Secret Service denied a FOIA appeal, telling The Post again that “no responsive records” were found after an “additional search of relevant program offices.”
The latest response is different in that it doesn’t deny the existence of responsive records and instead says they cannot be released.
The Secret Service, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security, turned down The Post after taking more than seven months to process the latest FOIA request submitted on Oct. 10 — and despite agency workers claiming to be conducting a tireless search through a “vast number of documents.”
“Please be advised, we are currently reviewing thousands of records in an effort to locate any documents responsive to your request,” a Secret Service FOIA office employee informed The Post in March.
The House Oversight Committee also has sought the records, though the status is of the committee’s request is unclear.
Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) and other GOP leaders in Congress had demanded Delaware visitor logs in January as the classified documents scandal grew — including with the president’s admission he kept records next to his classic Corvette.
Biden usually travels to one of his Delaware homes on weekends, heightening interest in his visitors — especially after evidence emerged that first son Hunter Biden brought Mexican business associates to the vice presidential residence while Joe Biden was VP and convened Russian, Ukrainian and Kazakhstani associates with his dad at a DC dinner.
In addition, the Biden scion reportedly introduced his father to partners from two separate Chinese businesses.
Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi admitted in January that “the Secret Service does generate law enforcement and criminal justice information records for various individuals who may come into contact with Secret Service protected sites.”
Also in January, Fox News quoted an unnamed source as promising that “the Secret Service is prepared to provide available background information on vetted guests to Biden’s residence if requested by Congress.”
Special counsel Robert Hur is reviewing whether Biden or anyone in his orbit violated the law by mishandling classified records.
The Justice Department, meanwhile, is reportedly close to a decision on charging Hunter Biden with crimes including tax fraud, money laundering and unregistered foreign lobbying.
House Republicans are investigating President Biden’s links to his son and brother James Biden’s foreign ventures, which they describe as influence peddling.
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