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Disclosed schedules show Clintons day-to-day activities as first lady
Clinton Papers DCLB 4975064
The National Archives in Washington, Wednesday, March 19, 2008, where the Archives released more than 11,000 pages from Hillary Rodham Clinton's schedule as first lady. Rival Barack Obama and Republicans have pressed the Clinton's to disclose documents from his eight years in White House. - photo by Associated Press
    WASHINGTON — Hillary Rodham Clinton kept her schedule packed when allegations exploded that her husband had an affair with an intern, according to papers released Wednesday that show her daily activities as first lady, her travels abroad and the legal woes that dogged the Clintons in the White House.
    The private crisis came at the most public of times for the wife who initially believed her husband’s protestations of innocence, before his story crumbled.
    She had speeches scheduled, at home and abroad. She appeared by Bill Clinton’s side at an education event where he angrily dismissed the reports of his womanizing. And if that were not enough, there was his State of the Union address.
    Her schedule has her choosing flowers for a black-tie dinner, congratulating ‘‘Guns Aren’t Cool’’ award winners and reading to kids in the week in January 1998 that upended her life and threatened his presidency. She denounced a ‘‘vast right-wing conspiracy’’ in a TV interview.
    The National Archives in Washington and former President Clinton’s presidential library in Arkansas jointly released the first lady’s schedules after months of pressure from critics who say the Clintons were delaying the disclosure. The issue has dogged Clinton in her bid for the White House.
    In all, 11,046 pages have been made available. Nearly 4,800 pages have parts blacked out. Archivists said that’s to protect the privacy of third parties. Schedules for more than 30 days of activities were not included in this release.
    Mrs. Clinton’s ordeal during the Monica Lewinsky scandal followed her own legal troubles in 1996 during the criminal investigation of the Clintons’ Whitewater real estate dealings in Arkansas.
    In the Whitewater probe, one of the most pivotal events occurred on Jan. 4, 1996, a day in which Mrs. Clinton’s personal calendar for late that afternoon is marked ‘‘Private Meeting’’ with her chief of staff, Margaret Williams.
    Several hours earlier, an aide had discovered inside the White House family residence long-sought billing records of Mrs. Clinton’s legal work on Whitewater-related real estate transactions that turned out to be fraudulent.
    Furious prosecutors, who had subpoenaed the records 18 months earlier, ordered Mrs. Clinton to testify before a federal grand jury about the records, which she did on Jan. 26, 1996.
    Her calendar for Jan. 26 says ‘‘No Public Schedule,’’ although the first lady stood before a bank of microphones in front of the federal courthouse in Washington, and declared: ‘‘I am happy to answer the grand jury’s questions.’’ Several hours of testimony she gave that day made her the first first lady to ever be hauled in for questioning before a federal grand jury.
    Neither the federal probe by Independent Counsel Ken Starr nor Republican-led investigations on Capitol Hill were ever able to sort out why the records of Mrs. Clinton’s work had never been turned over to investigators. Mrs. Clinton said she had no idea where the billing records had been.
    Prosecutors concluded they did not have enough to prove that she was a knowing participant in criminal conduct by others including Whitewater business partner Jim McDougal.
    Clinton, now New York senator, said in her memoirs that she had little choice but to carry on with her appearances when the Lewinsky revelations came out. It was on Jan. 21, 1998, when her husband woke her up, sat on the edge of the bed and said, ‘‘There’s something in today’s papers you should know about.’’ He told her of the reports of his relationship with the former intern, and she believed his denials at first.
    ‘‘I knew that both Bill and I had to carry on with our daily routines,’’ she said in her book.
    Her Democratic presidential campaign released a statement Wednesday saying the schedules spanning her two terms as first lady ‘‘illustrate the array of substantive issues she worked on’’ and her travel to more than 80 countries ‘‘in pursuit of the administration’s domestic and foreign policy goals.’’
    Clinton says her years as first lady would help equip her to handle foreign policy and national security as president.
    But the schedules show trips packed with plainly traditional activities for a first lady as well as some substance.
    For example, in her January 1994 visit to Russia with her husband, her schedule is focused on events with political wives. She sat in on a birthing class at a hospital, toured a cathedral and joined prominent women in a lunch of blinis with caviar and salmon.
    The Clinton campaign said the schedules are merely a guide and don’t reflect all of her activities.
    The papers show her tackling health care reform out of the gate, with a meeting three days after her husband’s inauguration and many more as the year went on, before her effort ultimately failed.
    She was also involved in helping her husband win congressional approval of the North American Free Trade Agreement, a deal she now criticizes and says she would try to change.
    Her schedule for Nov. 10, 1993, shows her speaking at a NAFTA briefing closed to the media, with 120 people expected to attend.
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    Associated Press writers Pete Yost, Sharon Theimer, Larry Margasak and Ann Sanner contributed to this report.

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