Showing posts with label Cheryl Mills. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cheryl Mills. Show all posts

Friday, September 4, 2015

Longtime Clinton aide grilled by House committee on Benghazi

Longtime Clinton aide grilled by House committee on Benghazi
WASHINGTON — Long­time Hillary Rodham Clinton aide Cheryl Mills was grilled for hours Thursday by a House committee — a day after a former Clinton staffer said he would invoke his Fifth Amendment rights to avoid giving testimony.
Mills’ appearance followed the release last week of 7,000 pages of ­emails from Clinton’s private server — including many to and from Mills that were heavily redacted.
The appearance by Mills, who testified behind closed doors before the House committee investigating the 2012 Benghazi attack, came after it was revealed that former Clinton tech expert Byran Pagliano would refuse to answer committee questions.
That created another political embarrassment for Clinton, who “has made ­every effort to answer questions and be as helpful as possible, and has encouraged her aides . . . to do the same, including Bryan Pagliano,” said campaign spokesman Nick Merrill.
Pagliano isn’t just any staffer. He was responsible for Clinton’s private server during her 2008 presidential campaign, and followed her to the State Department as a “special ­adviser.”

Friday, August 28, 2015

Group: Emails show Clinton, aides mixed State Department, foundation business

Washington (CNN)Ten days after the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks, the top foreign policy adviser at the Clinton Foundation had a potentially lucrative proposal on which to seek guidance from Hillary Clinton's aides at the State Department.
The email from Amitabh Desai to Cheryl Mills, chief of staff to then-Secretary of State Clinton, describes a pitch by Stella O'Leary, a Democratic donor active in Irish American causes.
O'Leary, according to Desai's email, said Clinton had "firmly instructed" her to set up a not-for-profit organization -- one that qualifies for 501(c)3 status under U.S. tax laws -- called Friends of the Clinton Centre.
In his email, Desai says: "I also asked if the new org could be flexible so that any funding raised could be used in whatever manner WJC" -- the initials of former President Bill Clinton -- "and HRC wish in Ireland and Northern Ireland, and not restricted to support only the current iteration of the Clinton Centre in Enniskillen."
The email is among dozens that have been turned over by the State Department to the conservative advocacy group Citizens United, which has filed several lawsuits seeking documents under the Freedom of Information Act. The group says the documents could help provide information about how they allege Clinton and her aides mixed State Department business with the Clinton Foundation's fundraising efforts.
It's an issue that has dented the image of Clinton's presidential campaign. Clinton's use of a private email server for government business while she ran the State Department has now grown into a controversy and has spawned an FBI investigation.
    Desai's email from September 21, 2012, provided to CNN by Citizens United, includes details of how the new organization would be overseen by board members drawn from other parts of the Clinton orbit, including officials from the Clinton Foundation, such as longtime Clinton friend Doug Band.
    Citizens United did not provide CNN with an exhaustive inventory of all emails it has recovered from the State Department. It first provided some to The Washington Post, which published a story on Thursday afternoon.
    But officials at Citizens United say the emails show discussion of a proposal to establish a "slush fund" for use by the Clintons. The email chain doesn't provide any indication of how Clinton or her aides followed up on the idea.
    O'Leary, in a phone interview with CNN, laughed at the idea her proposal would be interpreted as a slush fund. She doesn't specifically remember the details of the email but said she established the 501(c)3 organization with approval from the Clintons. She said it has raised about $55,000 for an international summer school program to bring kids from the Balkans and other conflict zones to Northern Ireland.
    It was, O'Leary says, "a good-will effort on my part to honor him for everything he has done in Northern Ireland."
    O'Leary suggested that Clinton opponents are using the Clinton name and the email controversy to raise money. The Clintons are "the easiest people around which to make money," she said.
    The timing of the email discussion is also notable because at the time, Clinton was wrestling with the beginnings of the controversy over the Benghazi terrorism attacks.
    Mills sent Desai's inquiry on to Huma Abedin, another Clinton aide at the State Department, with a comment saying that the proposal was new to Mills.
    Abedin, in turn, copied another Clinton aide, Jake Sullivan, noting that Sullivan was in the meeting at which Clinton and O'Leary had discussed the Friends of the Clinton Centre proposal. Abedin adds that Clinton hadn't made any commitments to the O'Leary proposal.
    The Clinton Centre is a conference facility built on the site of the 1987 IRA Remembrance Day bombing in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. President Clinton, who helped broker the Irish peace accords, dedicated the building to peace in Ireland.
    New York state corporate records list a group called Friends of the Clinton Centre, registered as a not-for-profit organization in 2013. The address for the organization is that of a New York City personal-injury law firm. O'Leary confirmed that was the organization she founded.
    A Clinton campaign spokesman referred questions about the O'Leary proposal to the Clinton Foundation. A person familiar with the matter said the Friends of the Clinton Centre isn't affiliated with the Clinton Foundation.
    Another batch of emails from 2012 sent by Abedin detail her efforts to help organize dinners in Ireland during a visit by Hillary Clinton.
    The emails sent by Abedin on her State Department email account include discussions about dinners with officials from Teneo, a consulting firm that employed Abedin at the same time she worked for Clinton at the State Department. Abedin had left her official role as a State Department employee but was working as a contractor for both the State Department and Teneo.
    The outside consulting work was allowed at the time because Abedin was classified as a special government employee. But the arrangement has drawn controversy and is the subject of investigation by Sen. Chuck Grassley, who says he is concerned it may have violated rules against conflicts of interest.
    Teneo was founded by Brand, a longtime Clinton friend who served on the Clinton Foundation board.
    "These emails illustrate why there are legitimate concerns about the Department's use of the SGE designation and the blurring of the lines between the official business of the State Department, the private interests of Teneo, and the fundraising interests for various entities under the personal control of Secretary and former President Clinton," Grassley wrote in a letter Wednesday to Abedin.
    An attorney for Abedin didn't respond to a request for comment.
    Nick Merrill, a Clinton campaign spokesman, rejected the idea that there was anything wrong with Abedin's activities.
    "This is someone who has spent nearly two decades in public service, and is widely known for her integrity and tireless work ethic," Merrill said in a statement. "After the birth of her son, she took maternity leave. The IG had questions about the details of her leave, Huma answered. Anything beyond that injected into the public sphere is unfounded and from partisans in Congress with a clear agenda. These emails serve to reinforce that these allegations are baseless. It's not surprising, but it is disappointing."
    But David Bossie, president of Citizens United, said, "As a result of federal court orders, Citizens United expects to receive more documents from Hillary Clinton's tenure at the State Department and we look forward to sharing those documents with the American people. It's critical that American's understand how the Clinton machine operated inside the State Department."

    Saturday, August 8, 2015

    Cheryl Mills to erase Hillary emails

    The attorney for a top aide to Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state has informed a federal judge presiding over FOIA requests from Judicial Watch related to Huma Abedin's employment status, that she will destroy electronic communications not already handed over.

    “Ms. Mills does not believe that she has paper copies of potential records in her possession. Following our production on August 10, 2015 [of the defense counsel’s version of the electronic records], we have instructed her to delete any and all electronic records in her possession,” said the attorney. 
    Breathtaking arrogance.

    Judicial Watch announced that the State Department today provided a status report as required by a July 31 federal court order requiring the State Department to request that Hillary Clinton and her top State Department aides Human Abedin and Cheryl Mills confirm, under penalty of perjury, that they have produced all government records in their possession, return any other government records immediately, and describe their use of Hillary Clinton’s email server to conduct government business.  The State Department filing shows that the agency sent the former officials the request and a copy of Judge Sullivan’s order but that both Mills and Abedin, who responded through their attorneys, ignored Judge Sullivan’s request to submit information under penalty of perjury.  The State Department reports that Mrs. Clinton has yet to respond.  Contrary to both Judge Sullivan’s order and the State Department’s request, Ms. Mills’ attorney said that she told Ms. Mills to destroy federal records in her possession on Monday, August 10. Tonight, Judicial Watch filed an urgent response informing Judge Sullivan of this plan to destroy federal records. 
    The State Department produced the August 5 letter it sent to Mrs. Clinton, which included a copy of Judge Sullivan’s order. 
    The developments come in a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit that seeks records about the controversial employment status of Huma Abedin, the former Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)). The lawsuit was reopened last month because of revelations about Hillary Clinton’s email records. 
    Letters produced yesterday show that, on July 31, the State Department, for the first time, demanded that Mills and Abedin “return all copies of potential federal records in your possession.”  The State Department did not provide correspondence demanding Mrs. Clinton return all copies of potential federal records.  Despite the court’s July 31 order for immediate disclosure, the State Department and its Justice Department attorneys took six days to disclose the 13 letters, which total 19 pages. 
    Prior to August 5 court-ordered letters, the State Department had asked no questions of Clinton, Mills, and Abedin about Mrs. Clinton’s separate email system or classified material.

    Wednesday, June 24, 2015

    State Omitted Clinton’s Chief of Staff From ‘Special Government Employee’ Disclosure List

    The State Department did not disclose that Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills had a special arrangement in 2009 that allowed her to hold outside positions with the William J. Clinton Foundation, New York University, and an Abu Dhabi-funded group.
    The agency came under scrutiny in 2013, after it was reported that Clinton’s close aide Huma Abedin had been granted “special government employee” status under Clinton, which allowed her to work as a part-time consultant for the State Department while also taking private clients that had financial ties to the former First Family.
    The State Department said on Wednesday that Mills was also granted special government employee status between Jan. 22 and May 24, 2009. That contradicts previous reports that Mills first became an SGE in 2013, after Clinton left the agency.
    Mills was not included on a list of all special government employees for the year 2009, which the State Department released last year in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from ProPublica. She is only included for the year 2013. According to ProPublica, the agency repeatedlydelayed the release of the list, which included about 100 employees.
    When asked on Wednesday why the information about Mills was omitted from the disclosure, a State Department spokesperson declined to comment.
    The Free Beacon first reported on Wednesday that Mills continued to serve as general counsel for NYU and as a board member for the school’s UAE-funded Abu Dhabi campus for four months after she joined the State Department. She was also on the board of the William J. Clinton Foundation until March 2009.
    While the board positions were unpaid, Mills received $198,000 from NYU, according to her financial disclosure. The NYU Abu Dhabi campus has drawn criticism from human rights groups for alleged labor abuses.
    During this time, Mills was identified as Clinton’s “Chief of Staff and Counsel” in internal State Department memos and cables. She was also involved in discussions with State Department ethics counselors about vetting and approving Bill Clinton’s paid speech requests. Clinton has given numerous paid speeches in the UAE since 2009, and the Clinton Foundation has received between $1 million and $5 million from the UAE government.

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