Lawyers for Biden admininstration tri try to keep Prince Harry's visa PRIVATE trends now
The global media circus that surrounds Prince Harry should force the Biden administration to hand over his U.S. immigration records, a federal court has heard.
Attorneys for the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank said Harry is a major public figure in the U.S. and that Americans had the right to know about his immigration status.
They clashed with U.S. government lawyers at a 75-minute hearing in Washington D.C. earlier on Tuesday.
Heritage had sued the Department for Homeland Security in a bid to fast-track their request to put the Duke of Sussex's visa application into the public domain.
Prince Harry arrives at the High Court in London earlier on Tuesday as part of a separate court case
Samuel Dewey, the U.S. attorney who is trying to get the Biden administration eventually release Prince Harry's visa files
Samuel Dewey, representing Heritage, said the matter had received 'widespread and exceptional media attention' which prompted 'questions about government integrity.'
John Bardo, the lawyer defending the U.S. government, claimed that the coverage came from 'obscure publications' in the U.K. and should be ignored.
But many of the news articles cited were by British-owned outlets, including DailyMail.com, with millions of readers in the United States, Dewey argued
'We don't think that counts as obscure or niche,' he told Judge Carl Nichols, a Donald Trump appointee.
The Heritage Foundation wants to know how the 38-year-old British royal answered questions about his past drug use when entering the country in the U.S.
It came after Prince Harry confessed to taking an array of illegal substances in his recent memoir 'Spare'.
Under US law, admission of drug taking can be grounds to dismiss a visa application.
'We are not a voyeuristic fishing expedition here. The focus is did the DHS comply with the law?' said Heritage lawyer Dewey after the court hearing.
Heritage lawyers had been seeking an injunction to force the DHS to respond to their Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request over the duke’s immigration papers.
Judge Nichols spoke of his 'frustration' that some DHS officials had yet to respond, calling Tuesday's hearing 'completely unnecessary'.
'I am somewhat frustrated about being asked to resolve an issue that is not even close to the merits of the case,' he fumed.
The judge gave DHS