The seventh and final release of Clinton administration documents
from the Clinton Presidential Library and the National Archives
comes as former first lady Hillary Clinton considers a possible
White House bid in 2016.
The nearly 10,000 pages of documents released on Friday did not
appear to contain revelations that would affect her possible
campaign. But the papers did offer inside looks at a Clinton White
House dealing with controversies such as the 1993 death of White
House lawyer Vincent Foster and the 1998 scandal surrounding Bill
Clinton's affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
In a July 1998 email, White House adviser Sidney Blumenthal had
harsh words about Linda Tripp, a former White House aide who
secretly taped Lewinsky talking about her relationship with Clinton.
Blumenthal wrote that Tripp was an unreliable witness who might have
"initiated" the creation of a key document, and said if this were
true Tripp "would be a liar, a worthless witness and open to
In another email, Blumenthal encouraged a journalist to write an
unflattering story about conservative literary agent Lucianne
Goldberg, who helped introduce Tripp to journalists and conservative
Another document showed White House staffer James Kennedy discussing
what the White House should say about whether Clinton planned to
watch an interview ABC anchor Barbara Walters conducted with
Kennedy told a press aide: "I had a line about him not planning on
watching TV next Wednesday, but one of the lawyers took it out.
Perhaps (press secretary) Joe (Lockhart), if asked, can say he
usually watches 'Star Trek: Voyager' at that hour."
Bill Clinton, who was in his second term in office at the time, was
impeached by the House of Representatives over the Lewinsky affair
but acquitted by the Senate. Hillary Clinton went on to become a
senator, stage an unsuccessful bid for the White House and then
serve as secretary of state in President Barack Obama's first term.
Although she has not yet said if she will run for president again,
Hillary Clinton has been considered the likely frontrunner for the
Democrats since leaving her post as the country's top diplomat in
February 2013. She has recently stepped up her campaign activities
for Democrats running in November's midterm elections.
ADVICE ON A 'SPIN OPERATION'
The files focusing on Foster's death show the White House legal
office deliberated over responding to Freedom of Information Act
requests for Foster's office logs, phone records, and a handwritten
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Republicans had accused the White House of covering up facts
surrounding Foster's death. White House counsel Bernard Nussbaum
cited "no significant public interest" and family privacy concerns
in denying the requests.
A lengthy memo written by White House
staffer David Dreyer outlined the administration's strategy to
manage hearings on the Clintons' involvement in an Arkansas land
deal known as Whitewater that involved risky loans from savings and
loans groups run by Clinton political backers.
They expected questions about Foster's death, as Foster was working
to manage the scandal before he died.
"This is going to be a bad story," Dreyer began. He recommended
making the hearings difficult for reporters to cover, and using
Democratic lawmakers to conduct a "spin operation."
Staffers also had hometown politics in mind: one wrote in 1999 that
then Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee hated Bill Clinton, one of his
predecessors, and was planning a Senate race against Democrat
Because of that, the note said, Clinton should give Huckabee a
"quick/warm response" to the governor's request for a national
proclamation highlighting the importance of positive images on
The files also included details of Hillary Clinton's unsuccessful
work to pass healthcare legislation. Healthcare became a political
flashpoint again following the controversial rollout of Obama's own
healthcare law in 2013.
Clinton says she will decide in early 2015 whether to pursue the job
that eluded her in 2008, when she lost her party's primary contest
(Reporting by Gabriel Debenedetti, Marilyn Thompson, Mark Hosenball;
Editing by John Whitesides and Frances Kerry)
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