LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks isn't getting a full picture of former President Clinton's terrorism policies because the Bush administration won't forward all of Clinton's records to the panel, a lawyer said.
Bruce Lindsey (search), Clinton's legal representative for records and a longtime confidant of the former president, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that only about 25 percent of nearly 11,000 pages have been turned over.
"I don't want (the commission) drawing the conclusion the Clinton administration didn't do X or Y and then there be a document that contradicts that and they didn't have access to that document because the current administration decided not to forward it to them," Lindsey said.
While presidential records are sealed by law for five years after a president leaves office, an exception was made to allow early access for the Sept. 11 commission (search). But the National Security Council (search) and Bush administration attorneys decided to turn over just a fraction of Clinton's documents, Lindsey said.
"The administration has interpreted the commission's request differently from the archives and, putting in the best light, has found that three-fourths of the pages did not comply with the commission's request," he said. "That's a fairly big difference of opinion."
Taylor Gross, a White House spokesman, said the administration has fully met the commission's requests for information.
"Whether documents from the Clinton administration or the Bush administration we have worked to ensure the commission has all the information it needs to get its job done," he said.
Clinton and former Vice President Gore (search) have agreed to meet privately with the 10-member commission. The panel also plans to schedule a joint private interview with President Bush and Vice President Cheney.
Just Tuesday, the White House reversed itself and agreed to allow National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice to testify before the panel publicly and under oath. The administration previously had insisted she meet privately with the commission, citing constitutional concerns, but eventually bowed to public pressure.