SOURCE: Judicial Watch

March 20, 2008 14:27 ET

District Court Rules Judicial Watch May Conduct Discovery Into Clinton Library

Archives Claims It Will Take "One to Two Years" to Begin Processing Hillary's Telephone Logs

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - March 20, 2008) - Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that U.S. District Judge James Robertson granted Judicial Watch's motion to conduct discovery into the procedures used by the National Archives and Records Administrations to process its requests for records at the Clinton Library. [Judicial Watch, Inc. v U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Civil Action No: 1:07-cv-01267 (JR)]. The National Archives has requested, in effect, an indefinite stay in Judicial Watch's lawsuit to obtain Hillary Clinton's records, estimating in court documents that it will take "one to two years" to begin processing Hillary's telephone logs.

According to Judicial Watch's Motion for Limited Discovery, filed on March 17, 2008: "Defendant's failure to properly respond to Plaintiff's FOIA request raises significant questions of fact... A full and complete understanding of the Library's 'queue' system, and [Judicial Watch's] position in the queue, is necessary before any request for a stay can be adjudicated by the Court. Plaintiff respectfully suggests that the answers to these questions, if [Judicial Watch] is permitted to obtain them through limited discovery, would be in the public interest as well as its own."

The Clinton Presidential Library, which is operated by the National Archives and Records Administration, has established a complex 17-part queue structure for processing Hillary's White House records that has placed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests related to unidentified flying objects (UFO's), for example, ahead of timelier public interest requests. Moreover, the Library, in essence, has admitted in its court filings that it wildly underestimated the public's interest in the records, was woefully unprepared when it started receiving FOIA requests, and remains understaffed and entirely unable to comply with its statutory responsibilities.

After a government lawyer for the Archives explained its confusing queue system in court today, Judge Robertson told Judicial Watch Director of Litigation Paul Orfanedes, "You have your discovery."

"The Clinton Library now will have to answer questions under oath about how it is handling (or not handling) requests for the Clinton records. The American people deserve to know how and why these records are not being processed and released in accordance with the law," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "National Archives officials should get their act together and do their job, instead of complaining of how much work they have to do."

On March 19, Judicial Watch's lawsuit forced the release of 11,046 pages of former First Lady Hillary Clinton's daily schedule records, comprising 2,888 days of schedules.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Jill Farrell
    202-646-5188