Cybercast News Service
March 23, 2008
The 11,046 pages of former first lady Hillary Clinton’s calendars and schedules that are now available to the public indicate, among other things, that she was a "co-president," according to a conservative analyst and, to a degree, according to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
The William J. Clinton Presidential Library agreed to release the papers after a long legal battle, and the documents were made available through the National Archives on Wednesday.
The conservative legal group Judicial Watch had sued to gain access to the documents that show the then-first lady and current New York senator was highly involved in cabinet meetings and in meetings with members of Congress.
Though Judicial Watch has often been a thorn in the Clintons’ side, the two camps might have found common ground regarding one point the documents show.
"The documents, from 1993 at least, seem to confirm her role as co-president, in meeting with cabinet officials and in policy discussions," Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton told Cybercast News Service. "The 1996 documents show her participating in a lot of fundraising and political meetings."
The Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, which has tried to count her time in the White House as governing experience, touted a similar point.
"The schedules do help illustrate Hillary Clinton’s extensive and exhaustive work as a public servant and her role as an influential advocate at home and around the world on behalf of our country," Clinton campaign spokesman Jay Carson said.
"As such, they are a valuable addition to the substantive and vast public record already made available by President Clinton," Carson added.
The effect of the release of these documents, which spans 2,888 days, is difficult to determine at this stage, because it is unlikely that analysts have read every page. But among the more than 11,000 pages, 4,746 pages have redactions, while other schedules list that Mrs. Clinton was in a "private meeting" but reveal no other details.
"The majority of the redactions pertain to the privacy interests of third parties, including their Social Security numbers, telephone numbers and home address," said a statement from the Clinton Library.
Further, before the documents were released to the public, they were reviewed by Bruce Lindsey, CEO of the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation and a former White House aide.
Clinton’s opponent for the Democratic presidential nomination Illinois Sen. Barack Obama has called on her to release the records, while other political commentators suspect she might have an interest in shielding her role in various controversies that plagued President Bill Clinton’s White House.
Under the Presidential Records Act, presidential papers are public records, but many critics have complained about the Clinton Library’s lack of progress in making relevant records available. The library opened in 2004, and the records became subject to the Freedom of Information Act in January 2006.
Nearly 2 million pages of documents about Sen. Clinton’s time as first lady were locked away in the custody of archivists, and they would not be released until after the 2008 presidential race, the Los Angeles Times reported on Aug. 14, 2007.
Newsweek reported on Oct. 29, 2007, that former President Clinton apparently instructed the National Archives to tightly control the disclosure of communications directly between the president and first lady.
To Judicial Watch’s disappointment, the National Archives said it would take another one to two years before it could release the telephone logs.
"This does not put an end to Judicial Watch’s pursuit of Hillary’s White House records, including the telephone logs of a candidate for president," said Fitton, adding that Judicial Watch will be in court Thursday arguing to force the National Archives to comply with FOIA and release the phone records now.
Cybercast News Service reported last month that the National Archives and Records Administration had consistently released Clinton Library documents of little consequence – such as inquiries about UFO sightings and White House photos – while FOIA requests from news organizations and public interest groups had gone largely unanswered.
Judicial Watch has several staff poring through the documents released Wednesday, Fitton said.
Though nothing specific jumps out of the documents, Fitton said 1996 records show Hillary Clinton was deeply involved in political fundraising. That was a year when Democrats came under intense scrutiny for questionable fundraising practices.
"She attended the White House coffees, which were quite credibly alleged to be illegal, and there were a lot of private meetings," Fitton said.
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