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Home > Privacy and Government > Government Invasions of Privacy > Willey Letters

Willey Letters

During the 1998 impeachment imbroglio, the White House released letters written to the President by a woman named Kathleen Willey who had accused him of unwanted sexual advances in a 60 Minutes interview.

A federal judge has ruled that the release of the letters was a criminal violation of the Privacy Act, in the face of claims by the White House that it is not subject to that law. Willey has filed a complaint against several parties alleging that they violated her rights under the Privacy Act and under common law.

While too much can be made of matters that surrounded the impeachment, this example points up one case where the Privacy Act had no force in preventing a government office from releasing information for essentially political purposes.


Complaint in Willey Schwicker v. Clinton et al. (September 21, 2000)

Ruling Slaps Clinton by Pete Yost, The Associated Press (March 29, 2000)

Comments? (Subject: Willey)

[updated 10/28/00]

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