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What Will We Learn From Mills About Clinton's Secret Server?

- May 26, 2016

Today, Clinton's Former Chief Of Staff And Longtime Aide Gets Sworn In Over Her Email Scandal


TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • Today, Cheryl Mills will testify under oath in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by a conservative watchdog group over her role in Hillary Clinton's secret email server scandal.
  • Mills refused to cooperate with the State Department's Inspector General in its investigation into Clinton's server.
  • The report revealed that Mills was aware of attempts to hack Clinton's server, defended Clinton's use of a BlackBerry despite it not meeting minimum security requirements, and sent information now marked classified to private email addresses.
  • Mills, who also served as Clinton's lawyer, conceded that she wasn't aware of any attempt to seek approval for Clinton's server, a move the State Department Inspector General said would have been rejected.
  • Mills walked out of an interview with the FBI interview in its investigation into Clinton's emails.

Today, Former Clinton State Department Chief Of Staff And Longtime Aide Cheryl Mills Is Scheduled For A Sworn Deposition Today As Part Of A Freedom Of Information Act Lawsuit Regarding Clinton's Secret Server. "And as many Americans prepare for the traditional Memorial Day kickoff to the summer season, longtime Clinton aide Cheryl Mills is scheduled to sit for a sworn deposition Friday in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the conservative group Judicial Watch." (Josh Gerstein, "Hillary's Summer Of Scandal," Politico, 5/25/16)

  • Mills Asked A Federal Judge To Order Judicial Watch To Not Release Video Or Audio Of Her Deposition. "Hillary Clinton's former chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, is asking a federal judge to order a conservative group not to release audio or video recordings of a deposition Mills is scheduled to give Friday about Clinton's use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state. Mills' attorneys filed a motion Wednesday afternoon saying they fear that the group that sought Mills deposition in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, Judicial Watch, will use any recording to distort Mills testimony and advance the group's anti-Clinton agenda." (Josh Gerstein, "Hillary Clinton Aide Moves To Block Release Of Deposition Video," Politico, 5/25/16)

EARLIER THIS WEEK, The state department INSPECTOR GENERAL revealed Mills refused to cooperate with ITS investigation and was closely involved in defending Clinton's secret server

Mills And Clinton Both Refused To Be Interviewed For The Inspector General Report. "Clinton, who served as the nation's top diplomat from 2009 to 2013, and her deputies, including Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan and Huma Abedin, declined to be interviewed for the inspector general's investigation, the report said." (Jonathan Allen, "Clinton Email Server Broke Government Rules, Watchdog Finds," Reuters, 5/25/16)

  • Mills "Did Not Cooperate With The Investigation." "Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan, and Huma Abedin are among those who did not cooperate with the investigation." (Rachael Bade, Josh Gerstein, and Nick Gass, "State Dept: Clinton Violated Email Rules," Politico , 5/25/16)

The IG Report Revealed That Mills Was Aware Of A Hacking Attempt Into Clinton's Secret Server While At State

In 2011, Clinton's Secret Server Had To Be Shut Down Because "Someone Was Trying To Hack" It, A Day Later, Mills Was Informed Of The Breach, And Was Told Not To Send Clinton "Anything Sensitive." "The report also disclosed an attempt to hack into Mrs. Clinton's server in January 2011. It said a 'nondepartmental adviser' to Bill Clinton - apparently Bryan Pagliano - informed the department that he had shut down the server because 'someone was trying to hack us and while they did not get in i didn't want to let them have a chance.' The attack continued later that day, prompting another official to write to two of Mrs. Clinton's top aides, Cheryl Mills and Jake Sullivan, to warn them not to send Mrs. Clinton 'anything sensitive.' She explained that she would 'explain more in person.'" (Stephen Lee Myers, "Hillary Clinton Is Criticized For Private Emails In State Dept. Review,"The New York Times , 5/25/16)

Mills Defended Clinton's Use Of A BlackBerry That The State Department IG Said Didn't Meet Minimum Security Requirements

Wednesday's Report Revealed That Clinton Did Not Seek Approval For A BlackBerry Device She Used That Didn't Meet Minimum Security Requirements. "The 79-page document said Clinton did not seek approval to do her government work using private email and did not show that the server, or the BlackBerry device she used while in the Cabinet, met minimum security requirements." (Lesley Clark and David Lightman, "Critical Email Audit Reinforces Bad Story Line For Clinton," McClatchy, 5/25/16)

In 2009, Top-Level National Security Specialists Met With Cheryl Mills To Explain The Risk Of Clinton's BlackBerry Use. "On Feb. 17, 2009, less than a month into Clinton's tenure, the issue came to a head. Department security, intelligence and technology specialists, along with five officials from the National Security Agency, gathered in a Mahogany Row conference room. They explained the risks to Cheryl Mills, Clinton's chief of staff, while also seeking "mitigation options" that would accommodate Clinton's wishes." (Robert O'Harrow Jr., "How Clinton's Email Scandal Took Root," The Washington Post , 3/27/16)

Clinton And Her Aides "Neglected Repeated Warnings About The Security Of The BlackBerry…" "Throughout, they paid insufficient attention to laws and regulations governing the handling of classified material and the preservation of government records, interviews and documents show. They also neglected repeated warnings about the security of the BlackBerry while Clinton and her closest aides took obvious security risks in using the basement server." (Robert O'Harrow Jr., "How Clinton's Email Scandal Took Root," The Washington Post , 3/27/16)

Mills Sent Classified Information To Private Email Addresses While At State

Cheryl Mills Sent Classified Information To Private Email Addresses While At The State Department. "Republicans shared exclusively with CNN a review of those emails sent to Congress on Tuesday, which they said showed Clinton and her aides sent information that would later be classified to six people's private email addresses. They include former Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns; Cheryl Mills, who was Clinton's chief of staff at the State Department; and Jake Sullivan, who served as Clinton's top foreign policy adviser. Clinton also emailed information that would later be classified to close confidant Sidney Blumenthal, whose communications with Clinton about Libya have become a focus of the House committee investigating the 2012 Benghazi attacks." (Elise Labott, "Hillary Clinton To Turn Over Private Email Server To Justice Department, CNN, 8/12/15)

On October 18, 2009, Cheryl Mills Forwarded An Email Containing Information That Would Later Be Classified To Jon Davidson's Private Email Account. (Cheryl Mills, E-Mail To Hillary Clinton; Jon Davidson, 11/10/09; State Department Release, 7/31/15)

On September 9, 2009, Cheryl Mills Sent An Email Containing Information That Would Later Be Classified From A Private Email Account. (Cheryl Mills, E-Mail To Hillary Clinton; Jake Sullivan, 9/9/09; State Department Release, 7/31/15)

Mills Conceded She Was "Not Aware Of Any Approval Request" For Clinton's Server, A Request The State IG Found Would Have Been Denied

Mills Told The Benghazi Panel That She Was "Not Aware Of Any Approval Request" For Clinton's Secret Server. "Clinton's top aides also declined to be interviewed by the inspector general, so it's unclear if any of them were involved in discussions about legal approval for Clinton's server. Clinton's former chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, did tell the Benghazi panel that she was not aware of any approval request." (Josh Gerstein, "Why Clinton's Email Problems Are Here To Stay," Politico, 5/25/16)

The State Department Would Have Flatly Denied Clinton's Request For A Secret Server If She Had Sought Permission. "The State Department's inspector general sharply criticized Hillary Clinton's exclusive use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, saying she had not sought permission to use it and would not have received it if she had." (Steven Lee Myers, "Hillary Clinton Is Criticized For Private Emails In State Dept. Review,"The New York Times , 5/25/16)

  • The Inspector General "Could Not Show Evidence" That Clinton's Secret Server Was Reviewed By Legal Counsel. "The report found that a top Clinton aide was warned in 2010 that the system may not properly preserve records but dismissed those worries, indicating that the system passed legal muster. But the inspector general said it could not show evidence of a review by legal counsel." (Rosalind Helderman and Tom Hamburger, "State Dept. Inspector General Report Sharply Criticizes Clinton's Email Practices," The Washington Post , 5/25/16)
  • The Report Concluded That Clinton "Failed To Seek Legal Approval For Her Use Of A Private Email Server…" "The State Department's independent watchdog has issued a highly critical analysis of Hillary Clinton's email practices while running the department, concluding that she failed to seek legal approval for her use of a private email server and that department staff would not have given its blessing because of the 'security risks in doing so.'" (Rosalind Helderman and Tom Hamburger, "State Dept. Inspector General Report Sharply Criticizes Clinton's Email Practices," The Washington Post , 5/25/16)

The OIG Report Added That State "Department Staff Would Not Have Given Its Blessing Because Of The 'Security Risks In Doing So.'" "The State Department's independent watchdog has issued a highly critical analysis of Hillary Clinton's email practices while running the department, concluding that she failed to seek legal approval for her use of a private email server and that department staff would not have given its blessing because of the 'security risks in doing so.'" (Rosalind Helderman and Tom Hamburger, "State Dept. Inspector General Report Sharply Criticizes Clinton's Email Practices," The Washington Post , 5/25/16)

MILLS HAS ALREADY MADE NEWS FOR WALKING OUT OF AN INTERVIEW OVER CLINTON'S SERVER WHEN THINGS GOT "TENSE"

The Washington Post Headline: "Former Top Clinton Aide Walked Out Of Tense FBI Interview" (Matt Zapotosky, "Former Top Clinton Aide Walked Out Of Tense FBI Interview," The Washington Post, 5/10/16)

Mills Has "Been Formally Interviewed By The FBI…" "So far, only a few of Clinton's top aides, including Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, have been formally interviewed by the FBI, but the former Secretary of State herself has not yet sat down with law enforcement officials." (Julia Boccagno, "FBI Director Refuted Clinton Campaign's Description Of Email Investigation," CBS News, 5/11/16)

During Her FBI Interview, Mills And Her Lawyer "Left The Room…" "Mills and her lawyer left the room - though both returned a short time later - and prosecutors were somewhat taken aback that their FBI colleague had ventured beyond what was anticipated, the people said." (Matt Zapotosky, "Former Top Clinton Aide Walked Out Of Tense FBI Interview," The Washington Post, 5/10/16)

The "Episode Demonstrates Some Of The Tension Surrounding The Criminal Probe…" "But the episode demonstrates some of the tension surrounding the criminal probe into possible mishandling of classified information involving the leading Democratic presidential candidate. In the coming weeks, prosecutors and FBI agents hope to be able to interview Clinton herself as they work to bring the case to a close." (Matt Zapotosky, "Former Top Clinton Aide Walked Out Of Tense FBI Interview," The Washington Post, 5/10/16)


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