The William J. Clinton Presidential Library will release 4,000-5,000 pages of previously confidential memos from former President Clinton’s administration on Friday at 1 p.m. ET.
The documents to be released have been requested for public release under the Freedom of Information Act but were withheld for their sensitive nature.
The Presidential Records Act of 1978 allows such documents to be withheld for up to 12 years after that president leaves office. The current and former U.S. presidents are given 30 days to assert executive privilege to withhold certain documents from release. The 12-year exemption for these documents actually ran out in January 2013.
President George W. Bush signed an executive order that allowed POTUS to indefinitely withhold documents from public release, but President Barack Obama reinstated the 30-day review period on his first full day in office.
Continue Reading Below
A White House aide told Politico that the delay is not because they are holding the documents up, but that the process to coordinate between entities and release these documents has taken more than a year.
“The White House has cleared … roughly 25,000 pages,” said the unnamed aide, “There have been no executive privilege assertions on Clinton materials to date.”
The aide went on to say that former President Clinton also was not asserting executive privilege over any documents, which would have to be supported by President Obama to be valid.
A National Archives spokesman, however, said that some documents still await approval. The White House has extended the deadline for the records until March 26.
With former First Lady Hillary Clinton potentially running for president in 2016, there has been unusually high interest in the Clinton documents, as they may reveal the inner workings of the Clinton White House.