Previously Withheld Clinton Records Go Public Today

Later today, several thousand pages of records from the Clinton Administration previously withheld under special legal provisions will be made public, Politico reports.

The Clinton Presidential Library will make its first release on Friday of records that were previously withheld from the public under legal provisions that expired early last year, a spokeswoman for the National Archives said.

About 4,000 to 5,000 pages will be put online at [12 noon CST] Friday, with paper copies becoming simultaneously available at the library in Little Rock, the spokeswoman said. More releases are expected in the next couple of weeks.

POLITICO reported Tuesday that about 33,000 pages of records withheld as confidential advice to President Bill Clinton or information about candidates for appointments to federal office, were still unavailable to the public even though the legal basis to withhold them under the Presidential Records Act ran out in January 2013—12 years after Clinton left office. Some of the records come from then first lady Hillary Clinton's office and include advice given to her by aides.

More than 30,000 pages ultimately could be made available to the public.

The roughly 33,000 pages of still-secret records accumulated through early last year as records from the Clinton Library were requested under the Freedom of Information Act or processed as part of systematic efforts to disclose records of most interest to historians and the public. Archvists reviewing the records marked the pages involved as exempt, but with an eye to releasing them after the 12-year period ended.

It's still unclear precisely why the records were tied up for more than 13 additional months. The process requires the National Archives, which runs the library, to give notice to the former president and current president. Their representatives ordinarily have 30 days to clear the records for release or declare an intention to withhold them under executive privilege. However, that period can be extended.

Aides to Obama and Clinton said this week that no assertion of executive privilege was made for records in the cleared batch of 25,000 pages. No final decision appears to have been made on the remaining 8,000 pages.

Read the full Politico post here.

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