Skip to comments.Former President Clinton to release confidential advice records
Posted on 01/31/2003 3:57:36 PM PST by HAL9000
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Former President Clinton has waived his right to restrict access to most records of confidential advice during his administration, opening the path for historians to more quickly study key decisions in the Clinton White House.
However, Clinton will not waive attorney-client privilege over personal issues such as Whitewater and the Monica Lewinsky-Paula Jones investigations.
The records to be released include exchanges among top advisers, staff counsel given directly to Clinton and advice from non-staff members regarding domestic policy and appointments. Clinton would like the records released before his presidential library opens at Little Rock next year.
"I believe that the more information we can make available to scholars, historians and the general public, the better informed people will be about the formulation of public policy and the decision-making process at the White House,'' Clinton said in response to written questions from The Associated Press.
Under the Presidential Records Act, which took effect in 1981, former presidents can withhold the release of records for at least five years and up to 12 years under certain criteria -- sometimes even longer if the documents are a matter of national security. Former Presidents Reagan and Bush have withheld most of their confidential advice documents under the 12-year exemption.
Before 1981, records were the property of outgoing presidents -- except Nixon, whose materials were seized by the government following the Watergate scandal.
Nancy Kegan Smith, director of the presidential materials staff for the National Archives, said it appears that "more confidential advice'' from the Clinton administration will be open earlier than any other modern president.
Excluded from release will be personal information, inflammatory comments and issues of national security.
Clinton and the National Archives have agreed to release most of his records of confidential advice as soon as they are processed, including information on federal appointments and policy decisions, said Bruce Lindsey, Clinton's legal representative for records and a longtime confidant of the former president.
Under the Presidential Records Act, President George W. Bush retains veto power over the release of any Clinton records, Lindsey said, but he added that he doesn't expect Bush to object.
An executive order Bush issued in November extends the act, giving former presidents, vice presidents and the incumbent president more authority to withhold release of their papers.
For a time last year, President Bush blocked the release of some 68,000 pages of Reagan's records, then issued the executive order. After a coalition of activists, historians and journalists sued, the White House approved release of the Reagan papers.
Martha Joynt Kumar, a presidential scholar and political science professor at Towson University in Maryland, said Clinton's decision could be partially fueled by a desire to bring his administration out from under the controversies that dogged him.
"From his viewpoint, a lot of media focus was on the dark side and his records will show the policy side where he figures he made his mark,'' Kumar said. "Presidents often feel that the more that is known about their administrations, the better history will treat them.''
Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
"A little to the left, Monica".
I wonder whats in those pages...
'Monica, I just love it when you wear blue.'
This stuff has doubtless been doctored to make i42 look less terrible than he is/was.
Well, that leaves a few phone logs and some pizza-greased-stained first drafts of speeches.
"...The four page document will be released in early summer, said a National Archives spokesperson."
Glad to know the American taxpayers are getting their money's worth.
The archive probably contains some long lost documents like -
"I want to ask Congress to declare war on Iraq, North Korea and Osama bin Laden, but the Republicans are too busy impeaching me."
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.