Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled against the U.S. Secret Service on September 30th in Judicial Watch's lawsuit to obtain visitor logs detailing corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff's visits to the White House. The Court rejected the Secret Service's motion to dismiss the lawsuit and instead ordered the agency to finish processing Judicial Watch's open records requests and provide all non-exempt records within 20 days of the court order [Judicial Watch, Inc. v The United States Secret Service, Civil Action No. 1:06CV00310].
The U.S. District Court ruled that the Secret Service had violated the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by not adequately searching certain White House visitor records that may contain information about Abramoff. Moreover, the Court also rejected all claims of exemption asserted by the Secret Service related to additional records uncovered by the agency subsequent to the filing of Judicial Watch's lawsuit. The Secret Service had argued these additional visitor records, called "Sensitive Security Records," were so secret that it could "neither confirm nor deny" their existence. The court rejected this argument.