Judicial Watch is seeking to force the National Archives and Records Administration to release draft indictments of Hillary Clinton related to the Whitewater scandal, the watchdog group announced on Monday.
"It is absurd for the Obama administration to argue that Hillary Clinton's privacy would keep a draft indictment from the American public," Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said in a statement.
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In a February motion to have the request dismissed, the National Archives asserted that there would be no value in releasing the indictments. "While there may be a scintilla of public interest in these documents since Mrs. Clinton is presently a Democratic presidential candidate, that fact alone is not a cognizable public interest ... as disclosure of the draft indictments would not shed light on what the government is up to," the bureau asserted.
"Making false statements and withholding evidence from federal investigators bears on Mrs. Clinton's honesty, credibility, and trustworthiness, not only as first lady, but also in her subsequent government service as a U.S. Senator and U.S. Secretary of State and for the position she currently seeks," Judicial Watch responded, adding that the Archives' argument to the contrary was "neither serious nor credible."
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The 1993-1998 Whitewater case led to criminal convictions of Clinton associates related to fraud and contempt of court, though Bill and Hillary Clinton were ultimately absolved of wrongdoing.
In response to earlier requests from Judicial Watch, the archives already released 246 pages of internal memorandums from the Office of Independent Counsel that included details of the investigation. Those documents include a 1998 memo suggesting a possible "conspiracy" by Hillary Clinton "to conceal, by unlawful means, the true facts" of the Clintons' relationship with the parties convicted. Indictments were consequently drafted, but never issued.
Judicial Watch has also been engaged in a protracted legal battle to obtain details of Hillary Clinton's use of a private server as secretary of state. Its effort to acquire Whitewater records stem back to a Freedom of Information Act request submitted in October.
In his latest statement, Fitton accused the archives of withholding Clinton's records at the behest of the Obama administration.
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"One can't help but conclude that the Obama administration is doing a political favor for Hillary Clinton at the expense of the public's right to know about whether prosecutors believed she may have committed federal crimes," Fitton said.