Politics & Policy

Top Hillary Clinton Aide Sent Classified Info to Clinton Foundation

Cheryl MIlls (File photo: Jin Lee/Getty)

Top Hillary Clinton aide Cheryl Mills sent classified information about a foreign government to a Clinton Foundation employee, according to an e-mail released by the State Department through a public records lawsuit.

In the July 2012 message, obtained by conservative group Citizens United and reported by the Washington Free Beacon, Mills sent classified information about the governments of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Amitabh Desai, Bill Clinton’s foreign-policy director at the Clinton Foundation.

The information was originally sent to Mills by Johnnie Carson, the State Department’s assistant secretary for African affairs. Carson asked Mills if Bill Clinton could push Rwandan president Paul Kagame to meet with his Congolese counterpart Joseph Kabila during a visit to the DRC later that month. He then relayed the classified material in question, which is said to be sensitive diplomatic information. Mills forwarded the entire e-mail to Desai, along with “talking points for Presient [sic] Clinton.”

Mills’s lawyer objected to the idea that the e-mail represented a breach of classification law, pointing out that the State Department only classified the information on July 30, 2015, during preparations to release the documents publicly. But former Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO) director J. William Leonard told Reuters in August that foreign-government information is “born classified,” and should be presumed as such by all federal officials.

#share#As FBI investigators continue to pore over Clinton’s private e-mail trove for classified information, her inner circle’s State Department correspondence has also become the object scrutiny. In particular, messages sent by top Clinton aide Huma Abedin in her time at private-consulting firm Teneo have come under investigation, with Senator Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) accusing Abedin of helping a Clinton Foundation donor procure a cushy appointment in the Obama administration.

Mills originally approved the “special government employee” status that allowed Abedin to work simultaneously at Teneo and the State Department. Abedin is now vice-chair of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

— Brendan Bordelon is a political reporter for National Review.

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