The Washington-based watchdog group Judicial Watch announced that it filed a Freedom of Information lawsuit (FOIA) against the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security. The group is demanding Air Force and Secret Service travel expense records for Barack Obama fand his family for travel dating back to 2014. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. 

Judicial Watch also wants Secret Service expenditure records for the kickoff to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign between April 1 and May 6, 2015.  Additionally, the group wants travel records regarding President-elect Donald Trump between November 9 and December 12, 2016, for residing in Trump Tower and then going on a “Thank You Tour” of six states.

The suit was filed after the Air Force and Secret Service failed to respond to multiple FOIA requests filed between October and December 2016.

Judicial Watch’s requests to the Air Force are seeking records concerning mission taskings, transportation costs, and passenger manifests for:

Obama’s trip to Los Angeles in October 2016, which included two fundraisers and an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live”
Michelle Obama’s October 2016 appearance at a Clinton campaign rally in North Carolina
Obama’s November 2016 appearance at a Clinton campaign rally in Orlando, FL.
Requests to the Secret Service are seeking all records of costs for providing security and other services for all VIPs for the following:

Obama Palm Springs vacation in February 2014.
Michelle Obama and her daughters on their yearly Aspen vacation in February 2014. The Secret Service expenditures totaled $121,876.21 for a similar vacation in 2015, which includes airfare.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from April 1, 2015 – May 6, 2015.
Michelle Obama’s trip to Morocco, Spain, and Liberia in June and July 2016 to “promote education.”
Obama’s vacation to Martha’s Vineyard in August 2016.
Michelle Obama’s October 2016 Clinton campaign stop in North Carolina.
Obama’s October 2016 trip to Los Angeles.
Obama’s November 2016 trip to Orlando.
Security expenses for then President-Elect Donald Trump and Trump Tower in New York, New York from November 9, 2106 – December 5, 2016.
President-elect Trump’s “Thank You Tour” from November 9, 2016 – December 12, 2016.
Security expenses for Obama’s residence in Chicago, Illinois between January 20, 2009 – December 7, 2016.

Judicial Watch had been monitoring Obama family travel costs throughout his presidency. On May 17, Judicial Watch announced that it obtained records from the Secret Service and the Department of the Air Force in response to FOIA requests that showed Obama family travel cost taxpayers at least $99,714,527.82 during his two terms.

Judicial Watch is also tracking the travel expenses incurred by President Trump, the First Lady and other VIPs.

According to a release from the organization, “The government could not care less about giving taxpayers basic information about what it costs to provide travel and protection to our political leadership and candidates,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Judicial Watch shouldn’t have to file federal lawsuits to get basic information about how much taxpayers spend on the presidency.”




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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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