In a legal brief filed in federal court this week, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) stated that by the end of March it would be releasing approximately 10,000 pages of Senator Hillary Clinton’s (D-NY) daily schedule records from her time as first lady. However, the Archives told the court it would be one to two years before it could begin processing the approximately 20,000 pages of telephone logbooks that were requested by the watchdog group Judicial Watch under a Freedom of Information Act request filed in 2006.
As the Democratic presidential nomination fight has intensified, so have calls by Senator Barack Obama and others for Senator Clinton and former-president Bill Clinton to expedite the release of records from the Clinton Presidential Library. The Obama camp is also demanding that the release of a list of past donors to the Clinton Presidential Library’s foundation.
Judicial Watch has a separate FOIA lawsuit pending in federal court seeking the release of records of the health care task force that Senator Clinton chaired while first lady.
The National Archives says the delay is exacerbated by the fact that the Clinton Presidential Library has only six archivists on staff for processing all of its pending FOIA requests for textual and electronic records. The Archives also stated that there are currently 30 FOIA requests pending ahead of Judicial Watch’s telephone logbook request and that the group has no legal basis to move ahead of others in the queue.
This week, the USA Today revealed that in response to a 2006 FOIA request filed by the paper, the Archives released 4,000 pages of documents concerning presidential pardons that we approved by President Clinton. The paper reported that 1,500 pages were either partially redacted or withheld entirely. This included 300 pages of internal White House communications concerning pardon requests.
The USA Today article alleges that it was the National Archives and not Clinton’s legal agent Bruce Lindsey who blocked the release of the documents. Lindsey stated that the National Archives made the “determinations with respect to these materials.”