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Group sues Secret Service for cost of Malia Obama’s spring break trip to Mexico

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

A watchdog group with a history of exposing the taxpayer costs of President Obama’s vacations is now suing the Secret Service for records detailing how much it cost the agency to protect first daughter Malia Obama when she traveled to Mexico for spring break earlier this year.

It’s a trip that the White House has famously tried to keep out of the news.

The group Judicial Watch announced on Tuesday that it has filed the lawsuit, known as Judicial Watch v. U.S. Secret Service, for the records. The agency has so far, according to the group, not responded to a Freedom of Information Act request made on March 29.

The White House has gone out of its way to stop news outlets from reporting on the trip. When Malia Obama went on the Mexico vacation in March, the White House reportedly forced a number of news organizations to remove their stories online reporting on the trip.

“From the beginning of the administration, the White House has asked news outlets not to report on or photograph the Obama children when they are not with their parents and there is no vital news interest,” Kristina Schake, a spokeswoman for first lady Michelle Obama, said at the time. “We have reminded outlets of this request in order to protect the privacy and security of these girls.”

According to the group’s request, it wants, “Any and all records regarding, concerning, or related to the expenditure of U.S. Government funds to provide security and/or any other services for Malia Obama and any companions during her March 2012 visit to Mexico.”

Judicial Watch says the Secret Service received their original request for records on April 6. By law, according to the group, the Secret Service should have replied by May 4, but did not.

“I have little doubt that this stonewall is because of the embarrassment of the security costs for the Spring Break trip of the Obamas’ daughter,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton in a written statement.

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