President Biden has used his home in Wilmington, Delaware as a weekend White House, making 52 trips there since taking office in January 2021 and spending all or part of 164 days at the residence, according to a tally by The Post.
The White House initially defended Biden’s frequent trips home from claims he was slacking off, with then-press secretary Jen Psaki telling reporters last February that the president can “work from anywhere.”
However, since the scandal over Biden’s handling of classified documents broke, the administration has changed its tune — saying the Wilmington residence is “personal” rather than a government outpost in a bid to avoid releasing records of who has visited.
Meanwhile, the Secret Service said this week it doesn’t keep visitor logs of the “private residence,” going beyond its responses to two prior requests by The Post for information on visitors to Biden’s Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach homes.
In April, the agency said “no records were located” in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. In late September, the Secret Service denied a FOIA appeal, telling The Post again that “no responsive records” were found after an “additional search of relevant program offices.”
On Oct. 10, The Post filed a more broadly worded FOIA request asking the Secret Service for “[e]mails that refer to visitors to President Biden’s residences” during his time in office. The agency acknowledged the request but has not yet provided a substantive reply.
It’s unclear if there truly is no centralized record of who visits Biden in Delaware. The Secret Service may be playing word games by technically deeming the records to belong to the White House even though the protective agency maintains them, creating what transparency advocates call a “shell game.”
Don’t believe the Secret Service doesn’t know who visits Biden’s house — it’s Congress’ job to find out
Let’s say the FBI was investigating a threat against the president, and one relevant line of inquiry involved figuring out who had visited the president’s private homes in Delaware during certain dates over the last 23 months. The Secret Service is responsible for keeping these private residences secure even when the president is not on site. If the FBI told the Secret Service that it was critical to get such visitor information, do you really think the Secret Service would respond, “Gee, sorry, we don’t keep logs for that”?
I certainly don’t believe that.
Given the lawyerly way the Biden White House has answered questions about who has visited the president at his Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach homes, I am prepared to believe that the Secret Service does not keep a document that they call a “log” of visitors. But I do not believe the Secret Service lacks records of visitor information, whatever they may call those records. I am very confident that, if the agency believed it was in the interests of the president’s security that the information be produced for the bureau, it would be produced at warp speed.