ALERT -- Feds fight release of draft indictments against Hillary...
The National Archives is fighting a lawsuit trying to force disclosure of several draft indictments of Hillary Clinton prepared by a Whitewater prosecutor in the 1990s.
In a brief filed late Tuesday, Justice Department lawyers and the Archives argue that disclosure of the draft indictments would lead to an unwarranted invasion of Clinton's privacy and violate a court rule protecting grand jury secrecy.
"Despite the role that Mrs. Clinton occupied as the First Lady during President Clinton's administration, Mrs. Clinton maintains a strong privacy interest in not having information about her from the files of the Independent Counsel disclosed," wrote Martha Wagner Murphy, chief of the Archives "special access" branch that stores records of former independent counsels. "As an uncharged person, Hillary Rodham Clinton retains a significant interest in her personal privacy despite any status as a public figure."
The conservative group Judicial Watch, which filed suit for the records in October under the Freedom of Information Act, is arguing that Clinton's ongoing bid for the presidency reinforces the public interest in records about her alleged misconduct.
"She's one of the most well-known women in the world, seeking the office of the presidency and her privacy interests outweigh the public interest in knowing what's in that indictment? It's absurd and it's shameful that the administration is proposing this," Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in an interview. "This is a political decision to protect her candidacy—because it is laughable, legally."
The Archives and Justice Department were dismissive about the impact of Clinton's presidential bid on public access to the records.