A federal judge has officially denied a FOIA request from Judicial Watch seeking a draft of a criminal indictment of Hillary Clinton prepared by prosecutors back in the mid-90s related to her involvement in the Whitewater scandal. According toPolitico, U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton, a Bush appointee, ruled that Clinton's "substantial privacy interest" outweighed any public interest in disclosure and that the material was protected from disclosure by a court rule enforcing grand jury secrecy. The 30-page opinion from Walton (attached in its entirety below) argues that the draft indictment would not "shed light on any agency's performance of its statutory duties, but potentially shed light solely on the character of Mrs. Clinton, independent to her position as a public official, which is not the objective of the FOIA."
"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," Walton wrote. "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."
"While Mrs. Clinton was first lady of the United States at the time of the investigation, she was neither part of a government agency nor a government official when the events that were the subject of the independent counsel’s investigation occurred, which led to the drafting of the proposed indictments," the judge wrote."Disclosure of the drafts of the proposed indictment would not shed light on any agency’s performance of its statutory duties, but potentially shed light solely on the character of Mrs. Clinton, independent to her position as a public official, which is not the objective of the FOIA."