Clinton Counsel Defends Archive Letter

By Jennifer Parker

Nov 2, 2007 7:02pm

ABC News’ Jennifer Parker and David Chalian Reports: In the wake of continuing accusations that former President Clinton is trying to block the release of records from his administration — including his communications with his wife, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y. — Clinton’s lawyer Bruce Lindsey issued a statement Friday to the media defending the former president.

"In the last few days, there have been several inaccurate reports regarding Clinton Presidential records," Lindsey said in the statement.

"Contrary to recent reports, Bill Clinton has not asked that records related to communications with Senator Clinton be withheld," he said. "Bill Clinton has not blocked the release of a single document from his Library."

During this week’s Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton was challenged by moderator Tim Russert about a 2002 letter written by her husband to the National Archives requesting certain documents from his administration be withheld.

The Republican National Committee is portraying the issue as an example of how "the Clinton team continues to mislead Americans."

"It is unfortunate that the Clinton team continues to mislead Americans about the availability of materials related to their presidency," said Republican National Committee spokesperson Danny Diaz. "Mr. Lindsey states that the healthcare task force records have been released, if that is the case, where are they and when will they be presented to the public?"

Lindsey defended the 2002 letter, arguing Clinton authorized the release of substantive policy materials that involve confidential advice from his advisors, including the former first lady.

The Archives is in the process of making records available as quickly as they can — over 1 million pages of the Clinton Administration records have already been released, including Health Care Task Force records," Lindsey said.

"No other President subject to the Presidential Records Act has authorized such a broad release," Lindsey argued.

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