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Judicial Watch • Clinton Library Won’t Release Kagan Files

Clinton Library Won’t Release Kagan Files

Clinton Library Won’t Release Kagan Files

MAY 21, 2010

Claiming that there are too many files to sort through, Clinton Library officials won’t provide the Senate Judiciary Committee with crucial information on Elena Kagan’s work in the administration in time for her confirmation hearings.

The committee, which considers judicial nominations, requested that the Supreme Court nominee’s records be furnished before the start of her June 28 confirmation hearings. The information is especially important because Kagan has no judicial experience and therefore no paper trail of legal opinions.

That essentially makes her Clinton Administration work her most important, and perhaps revealing, to date. Kagan was a top White House counsel under Bill Clinton who later got elevated to deputy assistant for domestic policy. Clinton also nominated her to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia but she never received a confirmation hearing from the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Now the committee wants documents related to Kagan’s time as a top presidential assistant, when she worked on policy matters dealing with firearms, tobacco and campaign finance. Senators have asked the Clinton Presidential Library for files, letters, memos and electronic mail to be considered before her hearings. The director of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum says it will be “very difficult” to meet the deadline, according to a national newspaper report.

The records request is overly broad and “too general in scope,” the director said, adding that “there are just too many things here.” She further pointed out that, under the Presidential Records Act, attorneys for both Clinton and President Obama have the right to read and review each document before it’s released and that could take a lot of time. Read between the lines.

An archivist must also read each presidential record line by line in order to vet it for any potential legal restrictions. These are after all, presidential records, the Clinton Library director reminds. She assures that this doesn’t apply only to the Kagan files but rather the entire collection of 86 million documents housed at the Arkansas facility.

Kagan, President Obama’s Solicitor General, is a liberal activist and political operative with financial ties to Goldman Sachs, the global investment firm embroiled in a major fraud scandal. As dean of Harvard Law School, she worked for the Wall Street titan that donates generously to Democrats.


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