JW Obtains Docs from Secret Service Regarding Security Costs for Obamas’ “Date Night” in New York City
SEPTEMBER 11, 2009
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it obtained documents this week through the Freedom of Information Act from the United States Secret Service documenting $11,648.17 in security costs related to President Obama’s “date night” with First Lady Michelle Obama on May 30, 2009 in New York City.
On May 30, President Obama took the First Lady to New York City for what he described as a “date night.” In a statement to the press, the President said: “I am taking my wife to New York City because I promised her during the campaign that I would take her to a Broadway show after it was all finished.” The Obamas dined for two hours at Blue Hill, a West Village restaurant before heading to the Belasco Theater for “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.” The Obama White House had refused to detail costs for the trip.
Judicial Watch’s FOIA requests seek “Any and all records concerning the cost of President and First Lady Obama’s trip to New York on May 30, 2009. Records should include, but are not limited to, bills, approval(s) documents, correspondence, and other cost records for motorcades, aircraft (including aircraft for aides, press and security detail – and helicopters from JFK to Manhattan), as well as costs associated with closing any streets/sidewalks/businesses, etc., to the public.” The request was filed with the U.S. Secret Service, the Department of Defense and the United States Air Force on June 2, 2009. The Secret Service produced documents to Judicial Watch on September 9, 2009.
Judicial Watch still awaits responses from the Department of Defense and the U.S. Air Force. Press reports suggest the President and his entourage, which included White House staff and the press corps, used three military aircraft.
“Our government has saddled us with crushing debt in the worst economy since the Great Depression and yet President Obama stuck the American people with a massive bill for a ‘date night’ with the First Lady. We do not yet have a full accounting of the total costs of the Obamas’ ‘night on the town,’ but this nearly $12,000 waste of taxpayer funds will concern many taxpayer,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “No wonder the Obama White House tried to keep secret the costs of this excursion. On his next “date night,” President Obama might want to be more sensitive to the costs of his partying to taxpayers.”