Why would top Hillary Clinton aide Cheryl Mills feel the need to “clean up” a situation she supposedly didn’t know was illegal?
When Cheryl Mills, a top Hillary Clinton functionary, heard that President Barack Obama had told CBS News he’d only learned about her boss’ illegal server from media reports, she was concerned. “We need to clean this up — he has emails from her — they do not say state.gov,” Mills reportedly wrote in newly leaked emails.
Why would this seemingly innocuous comment spark panic among Hillary’s closest advisers? Why would Mills feel the need “clean up” something that she didn’t know was illegal? What did the email’s recipient, John Podesta, who had only a few weeks earlier been working for Obama, know about the president’s familiarity with Hillary’s illegal server?
In the FBI’s summary statement, Mills alleged she didn’t know anything about Hillary’s email server until after the secretary of State’s tenure was over. In leaked emails we learned that this was untrue. Now we have emails in which Mills explicitly discusses concealing illegal activity in an effort to protect the president. Did she tell the FBI about her attempts to “clean up” emails? If so, why was she given immunity?
If not, why isn’t this considered obstruction of justice? One of the charges Scooter Libby was convicted of was making false statements when interviewed by federal agents and the media. (At the time a Deputy Attorney General James Comey named a special counsel to investigate the Plame affair. The same man is handing out free passes to Hillary’s entire inner circle.) Either Mills wasn’t telling the truth or the FBI didn’t believe it was important to ask. Either way, it’s a topic worth exploring.
It is also clear that the pseudonym-using Obama almost certainly lied when he claimed to know nothing about Clinton’s private emails until hearing about them in news reports. But we knew this already. Though the White House later attempted to walk back his comments, it’s plausible that Obama’s presence is one the reasons the FBI tanked the investigation in the first place.
Yes, I’m unsure how any reasonable person could still believe Comey didn’t quash the investigation. The FBI director rewrote the law to include an intent element rather than merely gross negligence. One would have to suspend all disbelief to accept that Hillary didn’t intend to use her unsecured, hidden communications infrastructure to send 110 emails containing clearly marked classified information. Thirty-six of these emails contained secret information. Eight of those email chains contained “top secret” information.
Even if you believe she hadn’t knowingly acted recklessly, once her private system was discovered (accidentally), she lied to the American people, and her staff — most of whom were given some form of immunity by the Justice Department, making it impossible to prove intent — worked to destroy and hide the evidence.
Now, I remember when suggesting Hillary or her staff had plotted to hide illegality was considered a conspiracy theory. Then again, everything is a conspiracy theory when it comes to the Clintons, until someone provides indisputable evidence of wrongdoing. Then we move to the “Who cares, it’s not a big deal” phase of the debate, before finally the “Look over here at what Donald Trump was doing in the ’80s” phase.
The thing is: once Trump is gone this will still be corruption.