Judicial Watch Sues Air Force and Secret Service for Records Detailing Michelle Obama’s Family Ski Vacation to Aspen, Colorado
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and fights government corruption, announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Air Force and U.S. Secret Service (No. 1:12-cv-00866)) on May 31, 2012 against the United States Air Force and the United States Secret Service to obtain records detailing Michelle Obama’s February 2012 President’s Day weekend ski vacation to Aspen, Colorado with her two daughters.
Pursuant to its original February 21, 2012, FOIA request with the U.S. Air Force, Judicial Watch seeks access to any and all records concerning the mission taskings, transportation costs and passenger manifests for Mrs. Obama’s February 2012 trip to Aspen, Colorado.
The Air Mobility Command, a component of the U.S. Air Force, acknowledged receipt of Judicial Watch’s request on April 11, 2012, but notified Judicial Watch that it “could not provide a specific date for the production of records responsive to [Judicial Watch’s] request.” By law, a response was due on May 9, 2012, at the latest.
Pursuant to its FOIA request with the U.S. Secret Service, Judicial Watch seeks access to “all records concerning use of U.S. Government funds to provide security and/or any other services to First Lady Michelle Obama, Malia Obama, Sasha Obama, and any companions on their February 2012 trip to Aspen, Colorado.”
The U.S. Secret Service acknowledged receipt of Judicial Watch’s request on March 12, 2012, but the agency has failed to comply. A response was due on April 23, 2012, at the latest.
One report suggested that the Aspen trip was the 16th vacation in three years taken by the Obama family.
“Why is the Obama administration repeatedly stonewalling basic questions about the costs of the Obama family’s personal travel?” asked Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “In the least, the Obama administration owes the American people the truth about how much each of these trips cost, instead of stonewalling and obfuscation.”
In April, Judicial Watch obtained documents from the United States Air Force and the United States Secret Service detailing costs associated with Michelle Obama’s controversial August 2010 vacation to Spain. According to a Judicial Watch analysis, the records indicate a total combined cost of at least $467,585.
Judicial Watch also obtained documents detailing costs of a June 21-27, 2011, trip taken by Michelle Obama, her family and her staff to South Africa and Botswana. Judicial Watch received mission expense records and passenger manifests for the Africa trip that described costs of $424,142 for the flight and crew alone. Other expenses, such as off-flight food, transportation, security, etc. were not included.