Clinton Papers Won't Be Released Until After Election

A spokesman for Clinton's Senate office, Philippe Reines, told ABC News that no one from Clinton's Senate office, her campaign, or from the office of former President Clinton have had any contact with the University of Arkansas about delaying the release of the Diane Blair papers.

"It's not a conspiracy," Dillard told ABC News. No representative of the Clintons has been in touch with the Library, he said. "No, absolutely not. No political campaign has been in touch with us. Nor have any individuals been in touch with us asking us to do anything different from what we would normally do."

The library newsletter indicated that two years ago Jones had extra help in processing the papers.

"Visitors to the Library's Special Collections Department might notice two students working diligently processing the papers of the late Professor Diane Blair," wrote the University Of Arkansas Library Newsletter in 2005. "These students are the first two Diane Blair Interns appointed by the University Honors College in a collaborative venture with the University Libraries."

Intern Lindley Carruth Shedd "commented that she finds her work in the Blair papers fascinating, and she believes the Blair collection "will be a great resource to those who want to study women's issues, state politics, or Bill and Hillary Clinton."

Two biographies of Clinton released this year and criticized by the Clinton campaign -- Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta Jr.'s "Her Way" and Carl Bernstein's "A Woman In Charge" -- reported on the Blair papers as a treasure trove of information about the 1992 Clinton campaign.

Blair's "questions, based on extensive preparation," wrote Gerth and Van Natta, "elicited candid remarks from aides who trusted her. She chronicled the highs and lows of a dogged campaign and quickly generated a mountain of insightful information.

In the end, she compiled her lengthy report -- the introduction alone numbered thirty pages -- into 'big bound volumes.'" Bernstein was able to interview Blair before her death and see the papers.

Dillard said he did not know when the Blair Papers would be made available, and he said the Library would not release her 1992 report separately since it was not customary.

"We always open a collection in its entirety because individual component parts do not always make sense," he said.

Despite Clinton's suggestions that she would support a more transparent government as President, Newsweek first reported, that in November 2002 former President Bill Clinton specifically requested that the Archives "consider for withholding" various "confidential communications" including those pertaining to "sensitive policy, personal or political" matters as well as "communications directly between the President and First Lady, and their families, unless routine in nature."

The term "withhold" is a term of art relating to presidential papers not necessarily meaning that the papers be kept from the public, but rather that they be reviewed before release.

Historians have complained that while the decision of what to release is ultimately up to the National Archives, Clinton's letter at the very least doesn't expedite the process and may even be delaying it, though the former President disputes that.

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