Veteran Hillary Clinton aide Cheryl Mills was reportedly caught off guard at an FBI question on an "off limits" topic – and bolted from the interview briefly, the The Washington Post
Mills, a lawyer who served as Clinton's chief of staff during her stint as secretary of state, is cooperating in the protracted FBI probe – but the surprising response hints at the tension surrounding the Democratic presidential front-runner's possible mishandling of classified data on her private email server, the Post notes.
According to the Post, which cited unnamed sources, the off-limits questions had to do with "the procedure used to produce emails to the State Department so they could possibly be released publicly."
Mills and her lawyer, Beth Wilkinson, left the room after the question from FBI interrogator, the Post reports. Both returned shortly afterward.
The subject was considered a no-no because it was considered confidential as an example of attorney-client privilege, the sources tell the Post.
Mills is a lawyer.
The Post notes that sources concede it's not odd for FBI agents and prosecutors to vary their interview tactics and approach – and Mills answered investigators’ questions.
And Mills and Wilkinson also asked for breaks more than once to confer, the sources tell the Post.
Ultimately, the FBI wants to interview Clinton herself, the Post notes.
But so far, investigators have found "scant evidence tying Clinton to criminal wrongdoing, though they are still probing the case aggressively." Charges haven't been ruled out, the Post reports.
"Ms. Mills has cooperated with the government," her lawyer said in response to the Post request for comment.
Clinton's Democratic presidential campaign didn't comment.
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