The popular online tool launched by the Obama administration allowing the public to create electronic petitions is kaput for the time being, thanks to the Trump White House.
All of the petitions, including one calling for President Donald Trump to release his tax return, have been removed from the site in a move White House officials are calling a maintenance effort to improve its performance, The Washington Post reported. A note posted to Petitions.Whitehouse.Gov said the site, as well as all of its existing petitions, would be back up and running by late January.
“All existing petitions and associated signatures have been preserved and will be available when the site is relaunched,” the statement reads. “Following the site’s relaunch, petitions that have reached the required number of signatures will begin receiving responses.”
The website, created by the Obama White House in 2011 as a means of letting folks lobby the government for legislation and other efforts, proved to be a popular resource for those looking to affect change. Its key feature was a mandatory response from the White House for petitions that received more than 100,000 e-signatures.
So far, however, the Trump administration has failed to answer any of the qualified petitions since the real estate mogul–turned–politician took office in January, according to the paper. Among the popular petitions submitted this year was one asking that the anti–fascist group “Antifa” be classified as a terrorist organization (366,000 e-signatures), another calling for left–wing donor George Soros to be declared a terrorist (152,000 e-signatures), and lastly, one gunning for Trump’s resignation (138,000 e-signatures.)
The Obama White House also saw its fair share of unusual pleas, including one calling on the government to deport pop star Justin Beiber after a spate of “bad boy” behavior and another asking to build a Death Star from blockbuster movie “Star Wars.”
A few petitions managed to garner tangible results, however, like the push for the White House to end gay conversion therapy for juveniles and the Presidential Medal of Freedom later awarded to baseball Hall of Famer Yogi Berra.
The White House offered no further comment on the matter.