According to watchdog group Judicial Watch, the Obama administration isn’t as forthcoming with FOIA requests that aren’t about beer.
The agency filed a FOIA request with the Secret Service on March 29 seeking information about the taxpayer cost incurred during Malia Obama’s spring break trip to Mexico. The request was prompted by reports that Malia was accompanied by 25 Secret Service agents.
Judicial Watch says the White House and Secret Service have been silent since receiving the FOIA request April 6, despite being obligated to respond by May 4 in compliance with FOIA laws.
In response, Judicial Watch recently filed a lawsuit requesting “Any and all records regarding, concerning, or related to the expenditure of U.S. Government funds to provide security and/or any other services for Malia Obama and any companions during her March 2012 visit to Mexico,” according to a press release.
Contrary to federal law, the Obama administration has simply ignored this basic FOIA request. I have little doubt that this stonewall is because of the embarrassment of the security costs for the Spring Break trip of the Obamas’ daughter,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a prepared statement.
A similar Judicial Watch effort last summer revealed that the family’s June 2011 trip to South Africa cost $424,142 for the flight and crew alone. Other expenses, such as off-flight food, transportation, security, etc. were not included, according to the agency.