In her November 2 syndicated column, Kathleen Parker asserted that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) "refused to answer candidly when asked if she would release communications between her and then-President Bill Clinton that might illuminate her claims to White House experience," and falsely claimed that "[t]he former president has ordered all records kept under seal until 2012." In fact, as Media Matters for America has noted, President Clinton has not ordered that "all records be kept under seal until 2012", nor, as October 30 debate moderator Tim Russert claimed, has he imposed a "ban" on the disclosure of communications between himself and Sen. Clinton until 2012.
Indeed, numerous Clinton documents have already been released or will be soon. As Media Matters has noted, the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has stated that it estimates it will have processed approximately 10,000 pages of documents by the end of January 2008 in response to a demand by the organization Judicial Watch for "First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton's calendar." Additionally, an August 8 Los Angeles Times article reported, "A trove of records has been made public detailing the Clinton White House's attempts to remake the nation's healthcare system, following a request from Bill Clinton that those materials be released first."
Further, in a 2002 letter to the National Archives, President Clinton listed documents involving communications between himself and Sen. Clinton as one of several categories of information in which documents should be "considered for withholding" [emphasis added]. In a November 2 statement, Bruce Lindsey, the William J. Clinton Records representative, said that rather than prohibiting the release of communications between Bill and Hillary Clinton, in the 2002 letter, Bill Clinton had merely designated such communications as part of a "subset" of presidential records "that should be reviewed prior to release."
Parker's false claim echoes the misrepresentation of Bill Clinton's 2002 letter by Russert during the Democrats' October 30 debate. As Media Matters noted, Russert falsely claimed that the letter "specifically ask[ed] that any communication between [Hillary Clinton] and the president not be made available to the public until 2012" before asking Sen. Clinton, "Would you lift that ban?"
Parker's column is syndicated by Washington Post Writers Group. A Media Matters report on syndicated columnists issued earlier this year found that Parker's column appears regularly in approximately 282 U.S. daily newspapers.
From Parker's November 2 column:
Hillary also refused to answer candidly when asked if she would release communications between her and then-President Bill Clinton that might illuminate her claims to White House experience. The former president has ordered all records kept under seal until 2012, but Hillary's response suggested that she has no choice in the matter. She can't ask her husband to lift the ban?