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Thousands of pages of secret Clinton White House memos released

The Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston) The Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)

The National Archives released a large cache of secret documents from the Clinton White House on Friday afternoon that includes confidential correspondence between Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton and their advisers and senior aides.

The release of nearly 4,000 pages of internal communications is expected to detail the Clinton White House's decisions on health-care policy and an array of national security issues, as well as on then-first lady Hillary Clinton's work on children's issues and women's rights.

The documents released Friday will be the first of several batches due to be made public over the next two weeks. About 25,000 pages have been cleared for release, while an additional 7,000 to 8,000 records are under review until March 26, after which they could be released, as well, according to a the National Archives spokeswoman.

The documents were released at the Clinton Library in Little Rock, Ark., as well as on the library's Web site  at 1 p.m. EST.

The National Archives, which oversees the presidential library, said it had 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.

Friday's cache was expected to include memos and other documents pertaining to the health care task force, conflict in Rwanda, the Northern Mariana Islands, micro-development issues, national security matters and the 9/11 Commission Report, according to the National Archives spokeswoman.

Former Clinton White House officials said to be included in the records are Hillary Clinton; Evelyn Lieberman, who joined the White House as the first lady's assistant and held a number of other roles, including deputy chief of staff; Lissa Muscatine, the first lady's press secretary and speechwriter; National Security Council aides Jamie Metzl, Nancy Soderberg, Paul Orzulak and Thomas Rosshirt; and speechwriters Jeff Shesol and David Shipley.

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

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