The White House on Friday released visitor logs that contain some 400 visits made during the first 12 days of Biden’s presidency.
“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,” the White House said in a statement.
The recordings, however, are thought to contain a number of exceptions. It was mentioned that the logs, planned to be released on a monthly basis, would not contain records of personal guests, “a small group of particularly sensitive meetings” such as visits of possible Supreme Court nominees, along with logs that implicate privacy or law enforcement concerns or those that could compromise national security.
Earlier, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the current administration cannot release records made during Trump’s term, as they are under the purview of the National Archives, which will not unseal visitor logs for five years after Trump left the Oval Office.
The names and personal information of people who visit the White House complex are recorded by the Workers and Visitor Entry System, also known as WAVES, and operated by the US Secret Service, which determines who is admitted to the restricted area.
Lawmakers earlier attempted to force Trump to publish the logs, which technically is not necessary as, according to a 2013 federal court ruling, visitor records fall under the category of "presidential records" that are not subject to Freedom of Information Act disclosures.
Donald Trump, when stepping into the office in 2017, stopped publishing visitor logs, a practice that existed under the administration of US President Barack Obama.