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Schedule tracks first lady during Lewinsky affair

  • Story Highlights
  • Documents shed light on Clinton's schedule during affair and resulting scandal
  • Papers also document her involvement in policy, specifically health care reform
  • More than 11,000 documents cover nearly 2,900 days
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From Alina Cho and Brian Todd
CNN
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sen. Hillary Clinton was in the White House on multiple occasions when her husband had sexual encounters with Monica Lewinsky, according to newly released documents.

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The National Archives released 11,000 pages of Hillary Clinton's schedule as first lady.

The National Archives on Wednesday released more than 11,000 pages of Clinton's schedule when she was first lady.

Sen. Barack Obama's campaign pushed for the documents' release, arguing that their review is necessary to make a full evaluation of Clinton's experience as first lady.

But the documents also provide a glimpse into Clinton's life during her husband's publicized affair.

The scandal involving former president Bill Clinton and Lewinsky, first broke in the national media on January 21, 1998.

According to the documents, Hillary Clinton started that day at a private meeting in the White House.

She later made an appearance at a college in Baltimore, Maryland, and stayed there until late in the afternoon before returning to the White House for a black-tie dinner. Video Watch where Hillary Clinton was during the scandal »

The schedules reveal where Clinton was, but provide no indication of how she dealt with the controversy.

Carl Bernstein, who wrote a biography of Hillary Clinton, said there was much more going on behind the scenes.

"She was on the telephone with her aides, she was trying to learn more about what the press was doing, she did not want to give the impression of a firestorm that was raging outside," he said.

On the day her husband made his first public admission -- August 16, 1998 -- she was on a trip to Martha's Vineyard.

She had no public schedule for the days that followed. And on December 19, 1998 -- the day the House voted to impeach her husband -- the calendar shows a holiday party.

A dance between the president and first lady is listed as "optional."

The papers show Hillary Clinton had no public schedule on the day independent counsel Kenneth Starr was appointed to investigate Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky, or on the day Bill Clinton was deposed in the case.

On the day the affair began -- November 15, 1995, according to Starr's report -- Hillary Clinton had a private meeting and a meet-and-greet with then-Vice President Al Gore and Nobel Prize winners.

Lewinsky said she and the president had an encounter in the bathroom outside the Oval Office study on January 7, 1996. This is the same day the president and his wife had a small dinner gathering at the White House, according to the documents.

The president and Lewinsky also had a sexual encounter on February 4, 1996, according to Lewinsky. On this day, the president and Hillary Clinton went to the National Governors Association annual dinner.

Hillary Clinton kept up a busy schedule as the affair spiraled into impeachment.

Thousands of pages are marked by redactions -- blacked-out information like the names of people who attended meetings.

"This is not about someone who is eager to shine a light on her full record. That's the point. And at the same time, some of this is understandable -- when you're running for office, the slightest thing can be misinterpreted," Bernstein said.

But the schedules also show her involvement in policy -- she dove into health care reform just three days after her husband's inauguration in 1993, and dozens of related events followed.

Despite her efforts, the Clinton health care reform foundered in Congress.

Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, said the trove of documents "shows she was a co-president," revealing an "extraordinary extent of meetings for an unelected official to be meeting with cabinet officials."

The documents cover nearly 2,900 days. An additional 27 days will be posted in the near future, the archives said.

The documents are among those at the center of a legal battle between the archives and Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest group that has long urged a speedier release of files from the Clinton White House years.

In a court motion this month, the archives promised to release the schedules by the end of the month but said it will need "one to two years" to process remaining documents, including more than 20,000 pages of call logs -- well after the November 4 presidential election.

A Clinton spokesman said the lawsuit had nothing to do with the release, and the Clinton team had nothing to do with the redactions. A key aide to the Clintons actually fought to un-redact some parts, the spokesman said.

According to the archives statement, 4,746 of the schedules have redactions that largely relate to privacy concerns including Social Security and telephone numbers and home addresses.

"We'll look them over, and may ask the court for relief if it looks like something important is missing," Fitton said of the redacted information. He said Judicial Watch continues to demand phone logs from Clinton's time in the White House.

The documents are from the files of Patti Solis Doyle, director of Clinton's scheduling as first lady, the archives said in a statement.

Doyle stepped down as Clinton's presidential campaign manager in February after a string of poor showings in primaries.

"Arranged chronologically, these records document in detail the activities of the first lady, including meetings, trips, speaking engagements and social activities for the eight years of the Clinton administration," the archives said.

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The records were simultaneously released on CD-ROM at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Arkansas, and at the archives in Washington.

The documents are also available for view on the Clinton Library's Web site. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's Alexander Mooney and Robert Yoon contributed to this report.

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