Tags: Hillary Clinton | Hillary Clinton | archives | emails

National Archives Officials Worried About Conserving Hillary's Records

By    |   Friday, 22 May 2015 07:38 AM

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After being warned that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's official records could wind up outside the control of the State Department, officials at the National Archives took steps to try to address the issue, Politico reported.

"We need to discuss what we know, and how we should delicately go about learning more about, regarding the transition plans for Secretary Clinton's departure from State," Paul Wester, chief records officer for the U.S. Government wrote to National Archives colleagues in an email dated Dec. 11, 2012, which was obtained by Politico.

Wester said that someone had raised concerns that there was a plan to move Clinton's files from the headquarters of the State Department to the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas.

"Tom heard (or thought he heard) from the Clinton Library Director that there are or may be plans for taking her records from State to Little Rock," Wester wrote, according to Politico. "Tom then got to asking questions about what we are doing to make sure everyone leaving the Administration does not leave with Federal records. I told him we are aware of the issue and are working on it."

Terri Garner, director of the Clinton Library, said she was not aware of any conversation related to moving Clinton's files to Little Rock.

"I have no idea if there was such a discussion," Garner told Politico. "No one ever had it with me, and even if they had I would have told them it would not be appropriate for the William Clinton Presidential Library to house a secretary of state's official records, former first lady or not."

A spokesman for Clinton's presidential campaign also said he had no knowledge of plans to store her records at the library.

"We are not aware of any plan along the lines of what appears to have been discussed by the NARA officials," spokesman Brian Fallon said, according to Politico.

Politico said that concern about losing Clinton's records stems from an episode in which former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger sent near-transcripts of his telephone conversations to the Library of Congress at the end of his tenure. As a result, they could not be accessed by the public for more than 25 years with the possibility that they may not be released earlier than five years after his death.

The email said that National Archives official Tom Mills and another colleague, "Jay," were concerned about a possible repeat of the Kissinger situation.

"Tom…and Jay continued to invoke the specter of the Henry Kissinger experience vis-à-vis Hillary Clinton," Wester wrote.

The revelations come on the heels of the controversy that was ignited by Clinton's decision to use a private email account during her four year tenure. One unresolved question is whether the State Department made any effort to retrieve and preserve her emails before she left office in January 2013, Politico said.

Wester told Politico that his agency did not pursue the matter with the State Department about Clinton's records, instead relying on circulating general government-wide guidance about managing the records of those departing the government.

"The specific Clinton issues we kind of discounted because we knew they, like many federal agencies, had processes in place to deal with the transition of cabinet officials and other senior officials," Wester told Politico. "We were under the impression the process was working as it was supposed to at the State Department at that time."

Wester emphasized that there were no specific concerns raised about Clinton's email.

"The issue was [Mills] heard or thought he had heard an issue related to Hillary Clinton's textual records. We had no information or no inkling of any issues with the email matters that have come to our attention" more recently, Wester said, according to Politico.

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After being warned that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's official records could wind up out outside the control of the State Department, officials at the National Archives took steps to try to address the issue, Politico reported.
Hillary Clinton, archives, emails
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2015-38-22
Friday, 22 May 2015 07:38 AM
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