The Department of Justice and the National Archives are resisting the disclosure of indictments against Hillary Clinton during the Whitewater scandal in the 1990s.
The DoJ and the National Archives are arguing that the release of the indictments would constitute an undue violation of Clinton’s privacy.
“Despite the role that Mrs. Clinton occupied as the First Lady during President Clinton’s administration, Mrs. Clinton maintains a strong privacy interest in not having information about her from the files of the Independent Counsel disclosed,” said Martha Wagner Murphy in a statement. Wagner is Chief of the Archives “special access” branch that stores records of former independent counsels. “As an uncharged person, Hillary Rodham Clinton retains a significant interest in her personal privacy despite any status as a public figure,” Wagner continued.
The conservative group Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to see the indictments.
“She’s one of the most well-known women in the world, seeking the office of the presidency and her privacy interests outweigh the public interest in knowing what’s in that indictment? It’s absurd and it’s shameful that the administration is proposing this,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in an interview. “This is a political decision to protect her candidacy—because it is laughable, legally.”
Judicial Watch was formed in the 1990s by Larry Klayman who has a reputation of pushing conspiracy theories and got his reputation by pursuing frequent frivolous lawsuits.
“Larry Klayman is a pathologically litigious attorney and professional gadfly notorious for suing everyone from Iran’s Supreme Leader to his own mother. A former U.S. prosecutor who made a name for himself in the 1990s by suing the Clinton administration no less than 18 times,” says a summary of Klayman on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s website.
For its part, the National Archives has pointed out that the indictments do not fall under a FOIA request because they do not shed light on what the government has done or is currently up to.
“While there may be a scintilla of public interest in these documents since Mrs. Clinton is presently a Democratic presidential candidate, that fact alone is not a cognizable public interest alone under FOIA, as disclosure of the draft indictments would not shed light on what the government is up to,” Murphy wrote.
The Whitewater controversy of the mid-90s is related to a loan made by one David Hale to the Whitewater Development Corporation in the 1970s. The $300, 000 loan was an illegal investment made to one of the Clintons’ business partners Susan McDougal who served 18 months in prison for contempt of court in relation to the scandal. No charges were ever brought against either Bill or Hillary Clinton.
[Politico] [The Southern Poverty Law Center