Federal archivists at the Clinton Presidential Library are blocking the release of hundreds of pages of White House papers on pardons that the former president approved, including clemency for fugitive commodities trader Marc Rich.
The archivists’ decision, based on guidance provided by Bill Clinton that restricts the disclosure of advice he received from aides, prevents public scrutiny of documents that would shed light on how he decided which pardons to approve from among hundreds of requests.
Clinton’s legal agent declined the option of reviewing and releasing the documents that were withheld, said the archivists, who work for the federal government, not the Clintons.
The decision to withhold the records could provide fodder for critics who say that the former president and his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, now seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, have been unwilling to fully release documents to public scrutiny.
Officials with the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., criticized Hillary Clinton this week for not doing more to see that records from her husband’s administration are made public. “She’s been reluctant to disclose information,” Obama’s chief strategist, David Axelrod, told reporters in a conference call in which he specifically cited the slow release records from the Clinton library. “If she’s not willing to be open with (voters) on these issues now, why would she be open as president?”
more obfuscation by the “most ethical administration in history”