Biden has boasted of their efforts to ‘restore transparency and trust in government’
Joe Biden will not disclose who has visited him at his Delaware residences in the 17 trips he has taken home since becoming president – despite promising to ‘restore transparency and trust’ to the White House.
President Biden’s Press Secretary Jen Psaki made the announcement at a press conference Wednesday.
She told reporters: ‘I can confirm we are not going to be providing information about the comings and goings of the president’s grandchildren or people visiting him in Delaware,’ Psaki told the New York Post on Biden’s stance on releasing visitor logs.
The publication also flagged visitors who could trigger potential conflicts of interests – including Biden’s former drug abuser son Hunter, who is now on the cusp of becoming a successful artist. He plans to sell some of his works to anonymous buyers for up to $500,000, sparking fears people could buy the works to try and lobby the president. But Psaki refused to be drawn.
She did so despite the administration has recently boasting of its efforts to ‘restore transparency and trust in government,’ a commitment that includes the release of several different White House visitor logs.
However, critics of the administration and transparency advocates are calling on the president to release visitor logs from his residences alongside those from the White House. They say similar rules should apply to all the president’s residences, both official and unofficial, given the power and influence he holds while in office.
In the mid 90s Joe and his wife, Dr Jill Jacobs Biden, purchased a parcel of lakeside land in Wilmington’s Greenville neighborhood, before building this impressive home
Biden also owns this beach home in Rehoboth Beach in Delaware
One critic, president of the conservative group Judicial Watch Tom Fitton, told The Post that the refusal ‘makes a mockery’ of Biden’s assertion of transparency.
‘It’s an easy way to bypass the alleged transparency they’re promising,’ he said.
‘If they’re going to take the position that this information should be public, what are they hiding when it comes to visiting his home? The presidency doesn’t stop when he’s visiting Delaware.’
‘He is presumably doing work. So the public has an interest in knowing who is visiting him there. Is Hunter [Biden] visiting him? … [Joe Biden] is the one who had Hunter at the vice president’s office meeting with his business partners.’
Biden and his son Hunter’s business connections have been thrust into the spotlight lately, with rumors of a conversation between the two regarding the latter’s art sale, where he expects to net $500,000 from anonymous buyers.
Further complicating things are Hunter’s 10 percent stake in a state-owned entity Chinese investment firm, the Post reports.
As for his father, President Biden is set to make two more upcoming visits to his residences in his adopted home state of Delaware, a state he represented for 36 years in the U.S. Senate before becoming the 47th Vice President of the United States.
He typically stays at his primary residence in Wilmington, however he has as president visited his vacation home in Rehoboth Beach.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki (pictured) makes a speech during the daily press briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House Wednesday
In May, the Biden Administration released copies of the official White House visitor log
In May, the Biden Administration released copies of the official White House visitor log, a policy that former-President Donald Trump had put an end to, calling the move ‘phony transparency’ over its frequently redacted entries, according to the New York Post.
‘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,’ Biden’s office stated at the time.
Former President Obama started the practice in response to a lawsuit from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington in 2009, with Trump ultimately ending the policy in 2017.
Michael Dubke, Trump’s White House communications director, had said at the time that the move was made due to ‘the grave national security risks and privacy concerns of the hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.’
Since 2013, presidents are allowed to withhold whatever information they want on said visitor logs due to a federal appeals court ruling from then-judge Merrick Garland.
However, Garland’s legislation did include the caveat that Freedom of Information Act requests would not apply to Secret Service visitor logs.