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Cheryl Mills: Benghazi Distracted Clinton From Turning Over Emails

Cheryl Mills: Benghazi Distracted Clinton From Turning Over Emails
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By    |   Wednesday, 01 June 2016 02:06 PM

Hillary Clinton's ex-chief of staff partially blames the Benghazi terror attack for distracting the former secretary of state from turning over her private emails in 2013 as she was legally required to do.

In sworn testimony ordered by a federal judge — and released Tuesday — Cheryl Mills said there was "a lot going on" when Clinton and her team were getting ready to exit the agency — including the September 2012 attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, the Washington Times reports

"The secretary was not only transitioning, there had been a — we had lost our first ambassador in quite some time, and we were stepping through the sets of issues associated with that," Mills said, according to the Times.

"And she, too, had fallen ill, and there — and there had been a period of time where we were obviously navigating a whole set of issues in that space."

"So I don't know that this was something that I focused on, and certainly I wish I had," she said of the requirement by both federal laws and agency policies to leave behind all official records, the Times reports.

Mills also said she couldn't remember if she and Clinton even talked about how to secure and store her emails as they left office together, saying she assumed the messages were contained in other employees' accounts, according to the Times.

"Obviously, I've come to learn that that's not the case," Mills said under questioning by Judicial Watch, a conservative law firm that won the right to depose Mills and other Clinton aides.

The department's inspector general concluded in a report sent to Congress last week that Clinton broke department policies on both storage of her official records, on failing to report potential hacking into her email server and that she didn't get approval for the arrangement. 

In her nearly seven-hour testimony, Mills admitted she emailed Clinton from her own personal account sometimes, but couldn't remember any conversations about their obligations under the law.

"I don't think I reflected on were there occasions where there might still be something with respect to a personal email where someone had either emailed me, or I had responded back, or the system had been down and we ultimately needed to use it — that there was information that hadn't been captured. And I wish it had," she said, the Times reports.

Mills' handling of emails has once before come under attack, during the Bill Clinton administration, the Daily Caller reports

Judicial Watch had filed a lawsuit in the late 1990s for records pertaining to another Clinton White House scandal after it was discovered more than 1.8 million emails sent among White House officials had gone missing, the Daily Caller reports.

In his 2008 ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth called Mills' response in the matter "loathsome" and "totally inadequate." the Daily Caller reports.

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Hillary Clinton's ex-chief of staff partially blames the Benghazi terror attack for distracting the former secretary of state from turning over her private emails in 2013 as she was legally required to do.
hillary clinton, cheryl mills, benghazi, email scandal, secretary of state
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2016-06-01
Wednesday, 01 June 2016 02:06 PM
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