U.S. National Archives to release more documents from the Clinton years
President Clinton pauses behind his desk at the White House in the Oval Office, Monday, Oct. 30, 2000, before speaking to reporters about his conflicts with the Republican led Congress over spending legislation. (AP / J. Scott Applewhite)
Ken Thomas , The Associated Press
Published Thursday, March 13, 2014 8:50PM EDT
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. National Archives plans to make public another 4,000 pages of documents from the Clinton White House on Friday, including previously unreleased records related to Vice-President Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign and the 2000 recount in Florida.
The Clinton Presidential Library intends to make a second batch of records available to the public, part of about 30,000 pages of documents expected to be released from Bill Clinton's administration in the coming weeks. The records have been highly anticipated as former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton considers a 2016 presidential campaign.
The National Archives said Friday's installment will include a variety of topics, including the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, the transition to the presidency of George W. Bush and records related to terrorism, including the Khobar Towers bombing in 1996.
The archives said other topics would include British Prime Minister Tony Blair, disability rights and documents from several presidential speechwriters.
The former secretary of state's potential White House campaign has sparked interest in memos and records from her husband's administration during the 1990s along with her work in public service. Clinton, a former New York senator, is the leading Democratic contender to succeed President Barack Obama should she seek the presidency again.
A first wave of documents released in February provided insight into the Clinton administration's concern over the failed health care overhaul plan, which Hillary Clinton helped lead, and showed how advisers to the first lady tried to shape her public image. On Friday, paper's from a top Clinton adviser during the health care effort will be released that could offer more insights into that period.
The papers may also reveal details on the twilight of the Clinton administration, as Gore sought the presidency but ultimately lost to Bush despite winning the popular vote. The records could provide a behind-the-scenes look at how the White House viewed the recount saga in Florida and the abbreviated transition that took place before Bush's inauguration.
Another topic of interest will involve records related to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Congress passed the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, which established an assassination records review board during the Clinton administration to carry out release of records.
About 5 million pages of documents from the Kennedy assassination have been released thus far and all records are to be released by 2017, with some exceptions.
The Clinton records were previously withheld by the National Archives because they were exempt from disclosure under restrictions related to appointments to federal office and confidential advice among the president and his advisers.
Once the restrictions expired in January 2013, the National Archives notified Obama and Clinton's offices that they intended to release the records so both offices could decide whether to invoke executive privilege on some records. Both offices recently signed off on the release of the documents.