Obama’s Records Problem

Judicial Watch has been trying to get a hold of Barack Obama’s records while he served in the Illinois state legislature from 1996-2004. With his suspicious connections to indicted political fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko, and his “friendly” relationship with domestic terrorist William Ayers, we think the public ought to have a look at his official papers from this time period.

The problem?

Nobody knows where they are, if they exist at all. And Obama’s story keeps changing.

During a campaign stop last fall, Obama said he didn’t have any records of his eight years in the Illinois state legislature. “I don't have — I don't maintain — a file of eight years of work in the state Senate because I didn't have the resources available to maintain those kinds of records.”

(Apparently they don’t have boxes in Chicago.)

However, when questioned on the records by Meet the Press host Tim Russert on November 11, 2007, Obama said: “Well, let’s be clear. In the state Senate, every single piece of information, every document related to state government was kept by the state of Illinois and has been disclosed and is available and has been gone through with a fine-toothed comb by news outlets in Illinois…every document related to my interactions with government is available right now.”

Contrast this “version of the truth” with what the Illinois Office of the Secretary of State recently told Judicial Watch, in response to our open records request: “The ISA does not maintain Senator Obama’s personal records or papers. [Nor] does the ISA maintain records generated by his office. In addition, the ISA has received no requests from Senator Obama to archive any records formerly in his possession.”

(Judicial Watch also contacted Obama’s successor, Kwame Raoul, who stated in a March 5 letter to JW: “Any documents I would have inherited from Senator Obama would have been constituent work files, and those were reviewed and discarded upon me taking office.”)

So, do these records exist or not? It appears that Obama never kept records of his time in the Illinois state legislature, or he discarded them. Either way, he clearly intended to leave no paper trail. Certainly, our investigation now suggests Senator Obama could now have or could have had his state legislator records archived so that they are available to the public, but has chosen not to do so. So Hillary is not the only one with a “records” issue.

Nonetheless, Judicial Watch will continue its investigation of Obama’s record(s). The more we learn about the Illinois Senator, the more obvious it becomes that he is anything but the ethically upright outsider he purports to be. Stay tuned…

Regarding Hillary’s records, JW should have her daily schedule records in hand within the next week. The National Archives notified the court that it expects to have the records to Judicial Watch by March 20, the date of a status hearing in Judicial Watch’s lawsuit. I’ll have more regarding this next week.

Judicial Watch is a non-partisan, educational foundation organized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code. Judicial Watch is dedicated to fighting government and judicial corruption and promoting a return to ethics and morality in our nation's public life. To make a tax-deductible contribution in support of our efforts, click here.

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