The National Archives said Monday that it expected to release Hillary Rodham Clinton’s schedules as first lady later this month, but it has asked a judge to delay the release of thousands of her telephone logs for one to two years.
Susan Cooper, a spokeswoman for the National Archives, said a representative for President Clinton had reviewed about 10,000 pages of Hillary Clinton’s schedules and last week approved them for release. The archives will soon notify the White House, which must also sign off.
“We are preparing the materials and we still have to give the White House notification,” Cooper said. “We’ll finish processing the materials for opening and we estimate the opening will be before the end of March.”
She said longtime Clinton aide Bruce Lindsey told the National Archives that he thought the library withheld and redacted materials too stringently, and it’s now going back and removing some redactions and re-reviewing documents that might be released after all.
The National Archives said in court papers filed Saturday that it needed more time to process 20,000 pages of the former first lady’s phone logs, which also have been sought by Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest group that has accused the library of delaying the documents’ release. The National Archives has said limited staff has hampered the release of records and has accused Judicial Watch of trying to jump ahead of other pending Freedom of Information Act requests.
“The library would require a stay of at least one to two years before which it will begin processing the remaining records as the request arises in the queue structure,” the National Archives said in a motion filed in federal court in Washington.
Hillary Clinton has faced criticism from fellow Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and Republicans over the number of White House documents that have not been made public.
A year’s delay would keep them from public view until after the election.
Clinton strategist Howard Wolfson said Sunday that Lindsey had completed his review of the schedules and expected that they would be released soon. “We’ve given the records back over to the Archives. They are now back in the Archives’ hands. Our say in the process is over, and I assume that they will be releasing them very expeditiously,” Wolfson said on ABC’s “This Week.”
The schedules were forwarded to Lindsey, who is also chief executive of the Clinton Foundation, for review on Jan. 31. There is no fixed timeline for the White House review.
Cooper said Lindsey approved releasing some documents from the schedules that the National Archives had recommended withholding but did not know how many pages he approved.
Archivists have been sorting through 80 million pages of documents and 20 million e-mails from President Clinton’s two terms, but few records have come out of the library in response to Freedom of Information requests since the National Archives began accepting them in January 2006. The library processes requests based on when they are received.