Clinton Fans, and Foes, Poised for Release of White House Papers

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WASHINGTON — The National Archives will make public on Friday afternoon a trove of secret documents detailing the inner workings of Bill Clinton’s White House, a disclosure of acute interest not just to the history of one presidency but to the prospects of another.

Thirteen years after Mr. Clinton left office, the release of nearly 4,000 pages of internal memos and other papers may shed light on decisions he made during a tumultuous time and, just as significantly if not more so, possibly the role his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, may have played in shaping them.

The documents are the first batch of a larger set of papers withheld until now under exceptions to public disclosure requirements in federal law, exceptions that expired a year ago. As Mrs. Clinton prepares for a possible second campaign for the presidency in 2016, friends and foes alike will pore over the documents for information that elaborates on her actions as first lady before she became a senator and then secretary of state.

Whether the papers will be especially revealing remains unclear. Many presidential documents released years after the end of a White House are often routine or simply confirm known versions of events. Others, such as the papers of Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon, clarified the historical record and even offered riveting new details. When Mrs. Clinton’s schedules as first lady were released during her 2008 presidential campaign, they filled in the picture about her activities but contained no dynamic surprises that changed the public understanding of her in a meaningful way....

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