Jen Psaki defends non-release of Biden’s Delaware visitor logs
White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended the non-release of visitor logs from President Biden’s Delaware homes Tuesday — despite the fact that the commander-in-chief was in his home state for more than a quarter of all days during his first year in office.
The Post asked Psaki at her regular press briefing if the White House’s decision not to make the Delaware logs public still stands after Biden spent long stretches of time at his Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach residences.
“Will the White House be reconsidering the decision not to release visitor log information from his Delaware residences?” The Post asked.
Psaki defended the trips before denying the reporter a third question about a different topic.
“Well, the president goes to Delaware because it’s his home. It’s also where his son and his former wife are buried. And it’s a place that is obviously close to his heart,” she said.
“A lot of presidents go visit their home when they are president. We also have gone a step further than the prior administration, and many administrations, in releasing visitor logs of people who visit the White House and will continue to do that.”
Biden spent all or part of 101 days of his first year in office in Delaware. Psaki told The Post in August that there would be no visitor logs released from Biden’s residences in the First State.
Despite vowing to lead the most transparent administration yet, Biden is taking heat from the press for giving fewer interviews and press conferences than his predecessors. He will give just his second solo White House press conference on Wednesday, the final day of his first year in office.
Tom Fitton, president of conservative legal group Judicial Watch — which has for years battled for White House visitor log transparency — says the White House should release the Delaware visitor logs as soon as possible.
“Generally speaking, the American people have a right to know what the president is up to. This president specifically changed policy to presumably disclose who’s been visiting the White House,” Fitton said. “The decision to keep secret who is visiting Delaware makes a mockery of that transparency. It turns it into a joke.”
Fitton says he’s concerned about who may be seeking to influence public policy while paying Biden or his family a visit.
“[Joe Biden] is the one who had [son] Hunter at the vice president’s office meeting with his business partners,” he noted.
The links between the elder Biden and his son’s business ventures often are murky.
It’s unclear, for example, if they have discussed his new art career, in which Hunter hopes to earn as much as $500,000 from anonymous buyers of his novice works. Hunter received at least $375,000 last year for five prints at a Hollywood art show attended by one of his father’s ambassador nominees, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Hunter Biden’s attorney Chris Clark announced less than a week after President Biden’s November summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping that the first son had divested a 10 percent stake in an investment fund controlled by Chinese state-owned entities. Hunter Biden and the White House provided no further details.
That firm, BHR Partners, was registered 12 days after Hunter joined Vice President Biden aboard Air Force Two for a 2013 trip to Beijing.
President Donald Trump’s defense team at his 2020 impeachment trial cited Obama-era visitor logs that indicated VP Biden met with his son’s business partner Devon Archer around the time Hunter Biden joined the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma, where he earned a reported $1 million per year.
Trump attorney Pam Bondi argued that Trump should not have been impeached for pressuring Ukraine to investigate the Bidens because the elder Biden may have had his own hand in the deal.
Photos and emails from a laptop that formerly belonged to Hunter Biden indicate that Joe Biden in 2015 hosted his son and a group of Mexican business associates at the vice president’s official residence. In 2016, Hunter Biden apparently emailed one of those associates while aboard Air Force Two for an official visit to Mexico, complaining that he hadn’t received reciprocal business favors.
“I have brought every single person you have ever asked me to bring to the F’ing White House and the Vice President’s house and the inauguration,” he griped.
Additional documents and photos indicate that Joe Biden attended a 2015 DC dinner with a group of his son’s associates — including a trio of Kazakhs and the Russian billionaire Yelena Baturina and her husband, ex-Moscow mayor Yury Luzhkov. A Senate report released in 2020 said a firm linked to Hunter Biden received $3.5 million from Baturina in 2014.
A photo depicts Joe Biden posing with the Kazakhstani group at the dinner. One day after the gathering, Burisma executive Vadym Pozharskyi emailed the then-second son to thank him for the opportunity to meet his father.
The Biden White House initially applauded itself last year for resuming the partial release of visitor logs, saying in May, “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.”