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Monday, June 17, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Group Pressing to See Draft Clinton Indictment

(CN) - The Conservative legal watchdog group Judicial Watch is suing the to obtain copies of a 20-year-old draft indictment against Hillary Clinton for her role in the Whitewater scandal.

For those who don't remember, the scandal erupted after Clinton and her husband, then-President Bill Clinton, were accused of involvement in a series of illegal loans provided to the Whitewater Corporation, a failed real estate venture run by friends of the first family during the Clinton's time in the Arkansas governor's mansion.

Hillary Clinton herself was alleged to have created false documents to conceal an illegal $300,000 loan to the corporation from federal investigators. In 1996, Hickman Ewing Jr., then-deputy independent counsel and prosecutor investigating the Whitewater matter, drafted and circulated an indictment against her, but he ultimately decided against prosecuting either Clinton for their role in the scandal.

In a brief, four-page complaint filed in the D.C. Federal Court on Monday, Judicial Watch says it filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the National Archives and Records Administration on March 9. 2015, seeking access to the draft indictment.

The agency acknowledged receipt of the request 10 days later and said it found 38 pages of responsive records in a folder entitled "Draft Indictment," and another 200 pages of responsive records in a folder labeled, "Hillary Rodham Clinton/Webster L Hubbell Draft Indictment."

However, the agency denied Judicial Watch's request to see them, invoking an exemption to withhold the entire cache of documents, the complaint says.

Judicial Watch says it appealed the agency's denial of its request on May 14, 2015, that the Act requires a response within 20 days of such an appeal, and that the agency has not to date responded at all.

It seeks an order compelling the agency to review its denial of the indictment records, to release all that are ultimately determined to be non-exempt, and to create an index of any responsive records the agency still deems exempt from release.

Judicial Watch is represented by Paul Orfanedes of Washington, D.C.

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