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Judicial Watch • Bill Clinton May Never Release Kagan Files

Bill Clinton May Never Release Kagan Files

Bill Clinton May Never Release Kagan Files

JUNE 02, 2010

A famously corrupt U.S. president best known for getting impeached by Congress and selling trade mission seats to Chinese Communists will decide if lawmakers that consider judicial nominations can access crucial information about Obama’s Supreme Court nominee.

Bill Clinton, the nation’s most investigated commander-in-chief, will determine if Elena Kagan’s records get to remain secret. The Senate Judiciary Committee needs the files on Kagan’s work in the Clinton Administration in time for her confirmation hearings later this month. 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 Clinton who worked on policy matters dealing with firearms, tobacco and campaign finance. She 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.

The 160,000 pages of records requested last month by the Senate committee are stored at the Clinton Library in Arkansas and the former president can withhold them all. Obama’s White House Counsel, Bob Bauer, is preparing lawmakers for that possibility by telling them that Clinton can withhold any material he feels should be kept confidential.

A few weeks ago the excuse du jour was that there are too many Kagan files to sort through in time for her confirmation hearings. The Senate Judiciary Committee’s records request is overly broad and “too general in scope,” said the director of the Clinton Library, who added 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.

The story has since changed to Clinton exercising his right, under executive privilege, to refuse the files. This could make people wonder what the administration is trying to hide though nothing would come as a surprise with Clinton. He is after all the first president ever to testify in a grand jury criminal investigation concerning his own corrupt actions.

 


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