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Judge delivers smackdown to Bush, fundies on White House logs

Thank you, CREW. Maybe now we’ll learn how many times Jeff Gannon was roaming the White House at night, and which professional fundie operatives were trying to put the moves on the administration.

White House visitor logs are public documents, a federal judge ruled Monday, rejecting a legal strategy that the Bush administration had hoped would get around public records laws.

The ruling is a blow to the Bush administration and prominent religious conservatives.

Visitor records are created by the Secret Service, which is subject to the Freedom of Information Act. But the Bush administration has ordered the data turned over to the White House, where they are treated as presidential records outside the scope of the public records law.

But U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth ruled logs from the White House and Vice President Dick Cheney’s residence remain Secret Service documents and are subject to public records requests.

In a lawsuit brought by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a liberal watchdog group, Lamberth ordered the Secret Service to turn over visitor logs regarding nine conservative religious commentators, including James Dobson, Gary Bauer and Jerry Falwell.

“I think it’s hugely significant,” said Anne L. Weismann, the watchdog group’s chief counsel. “The judge saw their arguments for what they were.”

This also means those records can’t be destroyed. Although with this rogue administration, they like to dispose of things that might prove problematic for it.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding

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