Stephen Spruiell at the Corner debunks Bill Clinton's slick claim that he has expedited the release of all of his White House documents held by the National Archives. It became an issue this week during Hillary's debate debacle last Tuesday, when moderator Tim Russert asked this:
Russert: Senator Clinton, I'd like to follow up, because in terms of your experience as first lady, in order to give the American people an opportunity to make a judgment about your experience, would you allow the National Archives to release the documents about your communications with the president, the advice you gave?
Because, as you well know, President Clinton has asked the National Archives not to do anything until 2012.
In response, Bill Clinton said that this question was 'breathtakingly misleading'. You can see Bill Clinton's rather testy response in this post.
The hyperbolic denial and gruff response are rather reliable tells that the Clintons are trying to squirm out of something. Bill Clinton has the right to hold back documents for twelve years after the end of his administration, which is 2012. Bill Clinton did send a letter to the National Archives requesting that documents be released early - with a few important exceptions, however. One exception was this: "7. communications directly between the First Lady, and their families, unless routine in nature; . . . "
Spruiell then asks "That's exactly the passage Russert asked about, almost word for word. How is that misleading?"
Put aside the impossibility of a question being 'misleading' for a moment. The simple fact is: the documents that are germane to this presidential campaign, the ones that will answer the questions about the depth of Hillary's involvement in the Clinton administration, are being held back until 2012. The fact that Bill Clinton has speeded up the release of documents that are completely irrelevant to the campaign does nothing to dispel the notion the he is covering up for Hillary, and in fact now amplifies it.
The new media is shredding what once would have been a solid Clinton denial. Now, you can see the letter for yourself, the debate in which the question was asked, and Bill Clinton's weak and embarassing response. The Clintons could get away with this kind of garbage during their administration, but not now.
Update: Spruiell has much more about this issue, including the fact that the Clintons' personal attorney Bruce Lindsay has veto power over what documents are actually released. Gee, do you think he might use that power as a way to protect Hillary?