Topics: Michelle Obama

Watchdog demands costs for 'luxury vacations' taken by Obamas, Biden

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White House,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Barack Obama,Michelle Obama,Joe Biden

A taxpayer watchdog group is demanding records detailing the costs of "luxury vacations" taken earlier this year by President Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

Judicial Watch, which previously unearthed the prices of expensive first family vacations like the first lady's 2010 trip to Spain that cost at least $467,500, has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the U.S. Secret Service for records on three trips:

-- President Obama's February trip to Palm Beach, Florida, dubbed a "boy's weekend" by the Associated Press.

-- A February skiing trip to Aspen, Colorado by the first lady and her daughters.

-- A simultaneous trip to Aspen by the vice president.

The suit was filed in mid-June with the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and announced today. Judicial Watch said it came after the Secret Service refused to turn over the FOIA'd information. The group has filed similar suitsm resulting in documents detailing the security costs of Obama trips in the past.

"These lavish personal vacations are symbolic of the total indifference this administration has to the out of control costs of government," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "And once again, the administration is, contrary to law, stonewalling simple requests for just how about much their luxe lifestyles are costing American taxpayers."

Security is typically the costliest element of presidential travel.

Obama isn't the first president to face scrutiny over vacation expenses. Most presidents in the recent past, including former Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush have also been hit for taking vacations. Supporters say the first family deserves vacations from Washington and add that the president and his family should not be slapped for the security costs needed to protect them.

The suit comes as the first family is preparing to return to Martha's Vineyard for their annual summer vacation.

Judicial Watch told Secrets that it is seeking the following:

-- "Any and all records concerning, regarding or related to the expenditure of U.S. government funds to provide security and/or other services to President Obama and any companions during his February 2013 trip to Palm Beach, Florida."

-- "Any and all records concerning, regarding, or related to the expenditure of U.S. government funds to provide security and/or other services to First Lady Michelle Obama and any companions during her February 2013 trip to Aspen, Colorado."

-- "Any and all records concerning, regarding, or related to the expenditure of U.S. government funds to provide security and/or other services to Vice President Biden and any companions during his February 2013 trip to Aspen, Colorado."

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.

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