33,000 pages of Clinton White House records to be released


EPA/JASON SZENES

Updated at 7:50 p.m.

A large cache of Clinton White House records that had been withheld from the public will be released over a two-week period beginning Friday, the National Archives announced Thursday.

The documents, which total some 33,000 pages, include confidential communications between then-President Bill Clinton and his advisers as well as records about people seeking appointments to federal offices.

The Clinton Library in Little Rock, Ark., will release the documents starting Friday at 1 p.m. EST with a batch of 4,000 to 5,000 pages, according to a National Archives spokeswoman. Approximately 25,000 pages have been cleared for release over next two weeks. The remaining 7,000-8,000 records are still under a review period, which lasts until March 26, after which they could be released as well, the spokeswoman said.

The National Archives, which oversees the presidential library, said it previously withheld the documents from Freedom of Information Act requests for the first 12 years after Clinton left office because they were exempt from disclosure under the Presidential Records Act.

Those restrictions expired in 2013, and after a review, representatives of Clinton and President Obama approved the release of a majority of the records that had been withheld, the National Archives spokesperson said.

The announcement of Friday's release follows a Politico story this week that raised questions about why the records were being kept out of public view. It comes at a politically sensitive time for Clinton, who has returned to the campaign trail to support Democrats in the 2014 midterm elections, and for his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is weighing another run for president in 2016.

Philip Rucker is a national political correspondent for The Washington Post, where he has reported since 2005.

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