June 22, 2015

Report Reveals Clinton Chief Of Staff Played Significant Role In Suppressing State Department Investigations

Over the weekend, the Washington Examiner highlighted a State Department Inspector General report that found then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Chief of Staff, Cheryl Mills, “played a role in covering up allegations that an ambassador had solicited prostitutes on the job.” Initially the executive summary of the report, which was made public in October 2014, downplayed Mills’ role in the investigation into Belgian Ambassador Howard Gutman’s actions. The full report however, obtained by America Rising through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, found Mills played a much bigger role. The Washington Examiner reports:


The public version of the inspector general report suggests it was Patrick Kennedy, the undersecretary for management, who swept the allegations against Belgian Ambassador Howard Gutman under the rug in 2011. But an internal version of the same report obtained by America Rising through the Freedom of Information Act and shared with the Washington Examiner reveals chief of staff Cheryl Mills’ hand in protecting Gutman from an emerging internal probe. While the public report only briefly mentions the fact that Mills attended a June 3, 2011 meeting with Gutman and Kennedy in Washington regarding the prostitution case, the internal version suggests Mills conducted the questioning of the ambassador. …


The incident raises questions about Mills’ activities under Clinton given evidence that Mills also interfered to shield the nominee for ambassador to Iraq from an unrelated investigation during Clinton’s tenure. Mills has been a close confidante of the former secretary of state since Bill Clinton’s days in the White House. Her personal involvement in high-level State Department cover-ups raises additional questions about whether Clinton was aware of what her chief of staff was doing at the agency she oversaw. For example, Clinton’s public schedule for the day of the Gutman meeting shows the secretary of state would have been in the building while Mills and Kennedy were speaking with the embattled ambassador.

This story comes on the heels of The Wall Street Journal’s report last month that Mills, as a political appointee, also had a hand in determining which documents were released to the public via FOIA requests, which raised questions yet again about the lack of transparency in Clinton’s State Department.