On Tuesday, a federal judge rejected a lawsuit from a conservative group desiring the release of criminal indictment drafts from Hillary Clinton’s involvement in the Whitewater land deal controversy in the 1990s, as reported by Politico. U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton said Clinton’s private interests outweigh the public’s interest regarding the documents.
The group, Judicial Watch, had tried to gain access to documents regarding the Whitewater investigation through the Freedom of Information Act, but was unsuccessful. Their argument revolved around Clinton’s public attention being at an all-time high with her presidential candidacy, so they asserted that now is the time to release the documents. But Judge Walton said the investigation occurred while she was a private citizen, which means that the drafts will not be released:
“The fact that information about the independent counsel’s investigation and potential indictment of Mrs. Clinton is readily available to the public does not extinguish Mrs. Clinton’s privacy interest. Although an individual’s interests in privacy fade when the information involved already appears on the public record’…’the fact that an event is not wholly private does not mean that an individual has no interest in limiting disclosure or dissemination of [the requested] information.'”
Judicial Watch spokesmen Chris Farrell said he is disappointed with the judge’s decision as the group believes a person running for such a high office is not entitled to this level of privacy. Despite their defeat in court, the group said it would continue to try to get the documents, which are being held by the National Archives, unsealed.
Elsewhere and in a somewhat related turn of events, Michael Chertoff, who was the lead Republican counsel on the Senate committee investigating Clinton’s involvement in Whitewater, said he is endorsing Clinton for president:
“I realized we spent a huge amount of time in the ’90s on issues that were much less important than what was brewing in terms of terrorism. People can go back decades and perhaps criticize some of the judgments that were made [in the 90s]. That is very, very insignificant compared to the fundamental issue of how to protect the country.”