In yet another twist to the dispute surrounding the release of Senator Clinton’s documents from her time as First Lady, the blame has been shifted from the White House back to Clinton.
During the democratic debate on Tuesday night, Sen. Hillary Clinton was asked by Tim Russert if over 11,000 pages of documents relating to her public appearances as First Lady would be released.
Clinton responded, “It’s a cumbersome process, set up by law . . . . And I have urged that our end of it move as expeditiously as we can. Now, also, President Bush claims the right to look at anything that is released, and I would urge the Bush White House to move as quickly as possible.”
At the White House daily briefing yesterday, a journalist posed a question to White House spokeswoman Dana Perino about Clinton’s suggestion that the release of the records has been delayed because of President Bush.
Perino explained the process when the White House Counsel’s Office receives notification from the National Archives that they propose to release records, they wait for a representative from President Clinton to review and approve the release.
“And if the Clinton representative approves the release of the records, we act as quickly as practical to get them out. And as I said, we don’t have anything pending at the moment,” Perino said.
She also noted that the White House has released over 550,000 pages of Clinton records to date.
A spokesman for Clinton told CNN that Clinton was not trying to cast blame on the president. He explained that the documents were cleared by the National Archives on Jan. 31, launching a 45-day limit to review the documents. The Clinton representative has 17 days left to recommend to the White House whether or not the records should be released.
The topic of the release of the records has been a source of debate dating back to Oct. 31, 2007, when Barack Obama brought up the issue in a Philadelphia debate.