http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A64818-2002Aug26.html President Bush's lawyers are trying to keep secret the inside stories of President Bill Clinton's last-day pardons by invoking a claim of executive privilege that extends far beyond the White House. In pleadings filed in U.S. District Court here this month, including affidavits from White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales and Deputy Attorney General Larry D. Thompson, the Bush administration contends that the privilege covers not only advice given to a president about individual pardons, but also government papers he has never seen and officials he has never talked to, such as the sentencing judge in a particular case. The stance, taken in opposition to a lawsuit filed by the nonprofit group Judicial Watch for access to Clinton pardon records, represents a hard line that the government has never taken. In the past, executive privilege has been recognized for advisers who operate within the White House. Bush's lawyers say it covers officials in any part of the government who are asked for input about pardon requests.