Thursday, September 3, 2015

FLASH UPDATE: THE “CHERYL MILLS DAY OF TESTIMONY” EDITION

DON’T BUY INTO THE NARRATIVE THAT CHERYL MILLS’ TESTIMONY ONLY SHOWED THAT — “NO WORK-RELATED MESSAGES HAD BEEN WITHHELD OR DESTROYED”  —   SHE WAS IN FRONT OF THE COMMITTEE FOR TEN HOURS


AMONG OTHER THINGS  


SHE GAVE DETAILS ABOUT HOW SOME INFORMATION THAT CAME IN ON SECURE LINES WAS SENT OUT AS  E-MAIL MESSAGES ON UN-SECURE  SYSTEMS


SHE GAVE SOME DETAILS AS TO HOW THE E-MAILS WERE HANDLED PRIOR TO “WIPING” THE SERVER AT THE DIRECTION OF HILLARY CLINTON


MILLS TESTIMONY ALSO DISCLOSED THAT SHE REVIEWED AND MADE SUGGESTIONS FOR CHANGES TO THE GOVERNMENT’S SUPPOSEDLY “INDEPENDENT” OFFICIAL, FINAL REPORT ON BENGHAZI



ABOUT THE E-MAILS

According to the report about Mills’ testimony that appeared in Politico  — “....  Mills told the Benghazi panel she was not aware if anyone raised red flags about Clinton’s use of a personal email system at State — nor did anyone specifically approve the private server that she knew of, according to the source familiar with her testimony....  Mills said she was not involved in setting up the initial server, nor was she part of the decision to have it stored at Platte River Networks, a small start-up that was reported to have stored servers in a bathroom closet at one point....   Mills was one of several top State officials who forwarded Clinton a number of emails that the intelligence community now believes should have been classified. But she testified that she never knowingly mishandled classified documents....   Messages came to Mills and her colleagues, often from foreign service officers out in the field around the world, on two different computers: one, a classified computer system that was protected and would have prevented the forwarding of any message outside a secure network; the other, an unclassified machine, which would have allowed staff to forward the messages....  In many instances, Mills received messages from the unclassified networks and forwarded them along to Clinton, although some of those messages were deemed classified after the fact....   She also said she never moved emails from a classified to an unclassified system. In an old 2010 email exchange released this week, Jake Sullivan, Clinton’s top policy staffer who will testify before the panel Friday, explained to Clinton that he couldn’t simply pull information off the classified computer and send it over an unsecured network, for example....”  ( See “What Cheryl Mills told Benghazi investigators” by Rachael Bade,  9/3/15, Politico [http://www.politico.com/story/2015/09/cheryl-mills-benghazi-testimony-213320]).

Also part of her E-Mail-related testimony,  “....   Mills testified, according to [Politico’s] source, that she used work email ‘overwhelmingly’ and almost only used personal email when she was overseas, at home at night or when their State email otherwise didn’t work. The source previewing the testimony also said she copied her State.gov addresses most of the time when she did go for personal email....”

THE HANDLING OF THE E-MAILS PRIOR TO “WIPING” THE SERVER

According to Politico, Cheryl Mills said that she —   “...  worked alongside Clinton’s lead lawyer David Kendall of Williams & Connolly to oversee the process whereby they selected which emails should be saved from a homemade personal server Clinton used during her State Department tenure. After the Clinton team finished scouring the messages, they had the server wiped clean, deleting the rest of the contents....  According to [Politico’s] source close to Mills, two employees at Denver-based technology company Platte River Networks originally pulled the messages from the server, and attornies under Kendall and Mills sifted through the messages to pull anything they thought could constitute a federal record....  Mills testified that they weren’t trying to hide anything when Clinton decided to wipe the server and that they were over inclusive in what they thought might be a work-related message. Clinton has said the remaining, erased correspondence were ‘personal’ in nature....”

With regard to that, Politico noted,   “....   Panel Republicans are skeptical that Clinton preserved all her work related emails — particularly after they discovered this spring about a dozen undisclosed Clinton emails in a separate set of messages they received from her longtime ally Sid Blumenthal. Those emails were work related, they argue, and should have been included. They suspect there could be more that didn't make the cut before the server was erased....”

The author of the Politico article, Rachel Bade also noted this:    “....  A GOP source said the emails controversy was a ‘very small part of what was discussed ... since she is Clinton’s personal attorney and has a duty to her.’ The person said it is not surprising that she testified that Clinton didn’t do anything wrong....”

ABOUT BENGHAZI AND BENGHAZI-RELATED MATTERS 

Also in the Politico article were several Benghazi-related items such as the following:   “One of the biggest surprises [ ] was that [Cheryl Mills]  said she made suggestions to change State's accountability review board report. The report was supposed to be independent from State officials that may be involved, and the GOP argues top officials should not have had input, long questioning how ‘independence’ the findings were....”

Mills also reiterated to the panel what Hillary Clinton’s insiders have consistently said about the Benghazi attack: “.... [Mills] said she knows of no ‘stand down order’ following the attacks, nor has she any knowledge of the U.S. moving weapons or knowing of other countries moving weapons to Libyan rebels....”

Mills further testified that  —   “....  Following the attack... there was no cover up or attempt to mislead the American public about what happened. Shortly after the 2012 attacks, US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice on national television blamed the attack on a protest against an anti-Islam documentary  —   a suggestion the intelligence community later said was false since it was a plotted terrorist attack....  Mills said they didn’t know it was solely a terrorist attack until Sept. 21, and....  she said she didn't know why Rice went on TV to make such claims....”

I make this simple prediction: THIS ISN’T THE LAST THAT WE WILL HEAR ABOUT THE CHERYL MILLS' TESTIMONY BEFORE THE BENGHAZI COMMITTEE.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't think Hillary will soldier on after Biden gets in.

Galewyn Massey said...

UPDATE: THE “GETTING ANY KIND OF ADMISSION OF FAULT OUT OF HILLARY CLINTON IS WORSE THAN PULLING IMPACTED WISDOM TEETH” EDITION

“I AM SORRY THAT THIS HAS BEEN CONFUSING TO PEOPLE AND RAISED A LOT OF QUESTIONS....” — “I CERTAINLY WISH I HAD MADE A DIFFERENT CHOICE....” — HRC TO ANDREA MITCHELL

BUT — IN HILLARY CLINTON’S THIRD NATIONALLY TELEVISED INTERVIEW, SHE CONTINUED TO DEFEND HER SYSTEM OF PRIVATE E-MAILS AS “ALLOWED AND FULLY ABOVE BOARD”

HILLARY SAYS SHE HAS MANY QUESTIONS TO ANSWER ABOUT THE E-MAILS AND SHE INTENDS TO KEEP SAYING THE SAME THING


“Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Friday apologized for confusing people with her personal e-mail use as secretary of state even as she defended the practice's propriety.... ‘At the end of the day, I am sorry that this has been confusing to people and raised a lot of questions,’ Clinton told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell in the most extensive interview she's done on the issue in the six months since her reliance on a private e-mail server was first exposed.... ‘I certainly wish that I had made a different choice,’ Clinton said, later adding: ‘I take responsibility and it wasn't the best choice.’... Still, she said, the practice was, in her view, ‘allowed and it was fully above board.’...” ( See “Hillary Clinton Says She’s Sorry E-Mails Have Caused ‘Confusion’ ” by Jennifer Epstein, 9/4/15, Bloomberg News [http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-09-04/hillary-clinton-says-she-s-sorry-e-mails-have-caused-confusion-]).

Bloomberg’s Jennifer Epstein, who has been quite soft on HRC in the past, went on to say this: “Clinton's comments reflect the more contrite tone she's adopted in the past 10 days, a course correction after she made jokes about the e-mail issue that landed with a thud. She is now more reflective and apologetic, though there's still an air of self-preservation as she insists that more Americans will understand her perspective if they listen to her explanation.... The issue has contributed to declining favorability ratings, something that campaign chairman John Podesta acknowledged Thursday when he told reporters that the campaign had faced ‘some headwinds, particularly around the e-mail question.’...”

Part of HRC’s interview with Andrea Mitchell that will almost certainly come back to haunt her is this: “.... Clinton said her decision to rely on a private e-mail account was made on the fly as she took office in early 2009. ‘There was so much work to be done,’ she said. ‘We had so many problems around the world. I didn't really stop and think, what kind of e-mail system will there be?’...”

The most telling thing in the Bloomberg-Epstein article might be in the concluding passages, in which Hillary was quoted thus: “I feel that I have questions to answer, which I intend to do at every turn —with you and others—about the whole e-mail issue and to keep saying the same thing.”

Galewyn Massey said...

BACKFILL: THE “NY TIMES FIRST DAY TAKE ON THE CHERYL MILLS BENGHAZI TESTIMONY” EDITION

MILLS STATES THAT ANOTHER LAWYER – NOT MILLS OR DAVID KENDALL – WENT THROUGH HILLARY CLINTON’S 60,000 E-MAILS TO DECIDE WHAT TO TURN OVER AS PUBLIC RECORDS AND WHICH TO BE DELETED

According to Schmidt reporting for the NY Times — “Cheryl D. Mills, a longtime lawyer and adviser to Hillary Rodham Clinton, testified for eight hours before a congressional committee on Thursday about Mrs. Clinton’s personal email account and the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya..... Ms. Mills told the panel, the House Select Committee on Benghazi, that many people at the State Department had known that Mrs. Clinton was using the personal email account for her government work, according to two congressional officials.... In addition, she said that neither she nor David E. Kendall, a lawyer for Mrs. Clinton, had been the person who went through 60,000 emails in Mrs. Clinton’s account to determine which messages should be handed over to the State Department and which ones should be deleted, the officials said. She said it had been a member of their legal staff who was reporting to them.... Ms. Mills also said she did not know why one of Mrs. Clinton’s longtime aides, Sidney Blumenthal, had sent Mrs. Clinton dozens of intelligence memos on Libya, even though he was not working for the administration....” ( See “Cheryl Mills, Adviser to Hillary Clinton, Testifies on Benghazi and Email Practices” by Michael S. Schmidt, 9/3/15, NY Times [http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/04/us/hillary-clinton-email-benghazi.html?_r=0]).

Galewyn Massey said...

UPDATE: THE "CONFIRMATION OF EARLIER STORIES ABOUT CHERYL MILLS AND CHANGES TO THE 'INDEPENDENT' BENGHAZI REPORT" EDITION

ODDLY, PLACED AT THE BACK END OF A NY TIMES ARTICLE ABOUT THE FRIDAY BENGHAZI COMMITTEE TESTIMONY OF JAKE SULLIVAN — THE NY TIMES TELLS OF STATEMENTS BY THOMAS PICKERING, CO-CHAIR OF THE SUPPOSEDLY INDEPENDENT "ACCOUNTABILITY REVIEW BOARD [ARB]" SET UP BY SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON TO INVESTIGATE BENGHAZI

PICKERING ACKNOWLEDGES SENDING CHERYL MILLS A COPY OF A DRAFT OF THE ARB REPORT — AND THAT SOME OF MILLS' SUGGESTED CHANGES WERE MADE TO THE FINAL ARB REPORT

PICKERING'S REMARKS CONTAIN THIS ODDLY PROVOCATIVE BIT: "SOME [CHANGES] WE DID NOT [MAKE] BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT CONSISTENT WITH OUR FINDINGS...."


On Friday, the NY Times reported that --- "On Friday, the head of an independent review board said that he had allowed Ms. Mills to read a draft, and she made suggestions that were ultimately accepted for the final version.... The inquiry was led by Thomas R. Pickering, a former ambassador, who was tasked with investigating what occurred at the State Department before, during and after the attacks. Mr. Pickering’s report was critical of the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security and its Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, but did not criticize senior officials, including Mrs. Clinton or Patrick F. Kennedy, the under secretary for management.... Mr. Pickering said Friday that Ms. Mills was among a group of people he had allowed to read the report before it was released. He said the report was independent because he and the other members of the team that conducted the inquiry — known as the Accountability Review Board, or A.R.B. — 'made all of our decisions unanimously about the report and its direction regardless of where the comments came from.'.... 'Most of them were in the area of word choices,' Mr. Pickering said, referring to Ms. Mills’s suggestions. 'Some of the comments we accepted, and some we did not because they were not consistent with our findings and the way we chose to convey those.'...” (See "Hillary Clinton Adviser Spends 7 Hours Before Benghazi Panel" by Michael S. Schmidt, 9/4/15 [appearing in the print editions of the NY TImes on 9/5/15], NY Times [http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/05/us/benghazi-attack-hillary-clinton-cheryl-mills.html?_r=0]).

The Times-Schmidt article specifically quoted Ambassador Pickering, as follows: “My judgment was that this did not constitute an inappropriate intervention or an attempt to change the basic report which we were not going to accept.”

The article by MIchael S. Schmidt also included this important background information: "The Republicans on the [Benghazi] committee have said that because Mr. Pickering did not interview Mrs. Clinton as part of his inquiry, it was not truly seeking to capture a full picture of what took place. Mr. Pickering has said he never questioned Mrs. Clinton because he had already decided responsibility lay below her level. The Benghazi committee plans to question Mrs. Clinton in October...."

Galewyn Massey said...

IMPORTANT BACKFILL: THE “ ‘NEW NAME’ IN THE HILLARY CLINTON E-MAIL SCANDAL IS [WAIT FOR IT....] ‘HEATHER SAMUELSON’ ” EDITION

>>> HOW DID I MISS THIS TWO DAYS AGO ? ? ? — THIS IS BIG NEWS <<<

I REPORTED THAT CHERYL MILLS HAD TESTIFIED TO THE BENGHAZI COMMITTEE THAT OTHER LAWYERS SCOURED HILLARY CLINTON’S E-MAILS UNDER THE DIRECTION OF MS. MILLS AND HRC’S LAWYER DAVID KENDALL — AND THAT THOSE LAWYER MADE THE DECISIONS AS TO WHAT WERE HILLARY’S “PRIVATE E-MAILS” AND WHAT WOULD BE TURNED OVER TO THE STATE DEPARTMENT AS PART OF HRC’S PUBLIC RECORDS

I NOW HAVE THE NAME OF ONE ATTORNEY THAT ALLEGEDLY PERFORMED THOSE FUNCTIONS — IT IS HEATHER SAMUELSON — AND GUESS WHAT — SURPRISE ! ! ! — SHE IS ANOTHER LONG-TIME HILLARY CLINTON INSIDER

ALSO — ACCORDING TO POLITICO, IT WAS ATTORNEYS KENDALL AND MILLS FINALLY DECIDED WHICH E-MAILS TO PRESERVE — AND HILLARY CLINTON DECIDED TO DELETE THE REST

[I consider the material contained in this “BACKFILL” comment to be sufficiently important to place it on the comments threads of two (2) posts: my Thursday, September 3, 2015 post,
“FLASH UPDATE: THE ‘CHERYL MILLS DAY OF TESTIMONY’ EDITION”; and my, at this time most recent post of Saturday, September 5, 2015, “FLASH UPDATE: “THE ‘IS HILLARY CLINTON GETTING ALL THAT SHE PAID FOR ?’ EDITION”]

I don’t know how I missed this for almost two days now — according to a report in Politico — “Hillary Clinton chose a former campaign staffer who followed her to the State Department to make the initial determination about which of her emails should be preserved as federal records, according to closed-door testimony by Clinton’s former chief of staff Cheryl Mills, a GOP source told POLITICO.... Heather Samuelson, a lawyer and 2008 Clinton campaign staffer, worked under Mills and Clinton’s attorney David Kendall to sift through her ex-boss’ messages. She helped separate those that were purely personal, which were not turned over to the State Department, from those that were work-related....” ( See “Meet the Clinton insider who screened Hillary's emails” by Rachael Bade, 9/4/15, Politico/ “HILLARY CLINTON EMAILS” [http://www.politico.com/story/2015/09/hillary-clinton-insider-emails-heather-samuelson-screened-2016-213350]).

In an earlier post, I quoted another Politico article that had stated, “... attornies under Kendall and Mills sifted through the messages to pull anything they thought could constitute a federal record....” ( See my earlier Thursday, September 3, 2015 post, “FLASH UPDATE: THE ‘CHERYL MILLS DAY OF TESTIMONY’ EDITION” below on this blog [I note at this time that the earlier Politco article did mention the word, “attornies” [plural]; see also “What Cheryl Mills told Benghazi investigators” by Rachael Bade, 9/3/15, Politico [http://www.politico.com/story/2015/09/cheryl-mills-benghazi-testimony-213320][cited in my 9/3/15 post]).

ACCORDING TO POLITICO, THE HRC CAMPAIGN SAID IT WAS ATTORNEYS KENDALL AND MILLS THAT FINALLY DECIDED WHICH E-MAILS TO PRESERVE — AND HILLARY CLINTON DECIDED TO DELETE THE REST
However, today's Politco article by Rachel Bade specifically noted this: “.... But Clinton-related sources said that Kendall and Mills, not Samuelson, ultimately made the determinations about which emails should be preserved before [Hillary] Clinton decided to delete the rest....”

The possible issue of whether Heather Samuelson was acting alone or with other attorneys on the initial gathering and separating of HRC's official and private E-Mails will have to be resolved in the future.

[THIS COMMENT IS CONTINUED IMMEDIATELY BELOW ON THIS COMMENTS THREAD]

Galewyn Massey said...

[CONTINUED COMMENT]
IMPORTANT BACKFILL: THE “ ‘NEW NAME’ IN THE HILLARY CLINTON E-MAIL SCANDAL IS [WAIT FOR IT....] ‘HEATHER SAMUELSON’ ” EDITION

HERE’S THE GIST OF WHAT POLITICO HAD TO SAY ABOUT >>> HEATHER SAMUELSON <<< NEW NAMED INSIDE OPERATOR IN THE HILLARY CLINTON E-MAILS SCANDAL
Among other matters in a rather detailed article, Rachel Bade said this about Heather Samuelson and her connection to the HRC E-Mails : “.... On Thursday, Mills testified that employees for Denver-based IT firm Platte River Networks — which housed Clinton's server until the FBI took hold of it — initially pulled emails off the server and sent them to Clinton's legal team.... Samuelson did the initial sift through of the documents, pulling ones she thought were federal records. In that regard, she initially determined which should be preserved — though Kendall and Mills ultimately signed off on what Clinton sent State.... Clinton deleted the rest of her emails from her computer, wiping it clean.... It is unclear if Samuelson had a security clearance and if Kendall and Mills simply approved her recommendations, made adjustments or looked through the emails she did not pull to ensure she didn’t miss any important documents....”

The Politico coverage also mentioned that Samuelson’s Linked-In profile showed that she received her law degree from American University and began working for Hillary Clinton in the fall of 2002 as the assistant treasurer for her political action committee, Hill PAC, and as deputy director of compliance for Friends of Hillary. Samuelson stayed with the PAC four years before joining “Hillary Clinton for President” in January 2007. Samuelson then worked on compliance issues for nine months; before switching to “Director of Vetting” in the campaign’s counsel’s office.

Politico also said, “.... When Clinton moved to State, so did [ Heather Samuelson], working for four years as senior advisor and White House liaison at the State Department from January 2009 to March 2013.... [Samuelson] then served as assistant counsel at the White House from then until April of 2014....”


“OF ALL THE GIN JOINTS....” — IS HEATHER SAMUELSON ALIVE AND WELL, AND LIVING IN BROOKLYN ? ? ?
I’ll finish with this last bit from Politico: “.... It is unlcear where she is now, but a Maryland State Bar Association listing shows her address is now in Brooklyn, N.Y., which is also where Hillary for America is headquartered....”

[As stated in the first part of this continued "BACKFILL" comment, I consider the material contained in this “BACKFILL” comment to be sufficiently important to place it on the comments threads of two (2) posts: my Thursday, September 3, 2015 post,
“FLASH UPDATE: THE ‘CHERYL MILLS DAY OF TESTIMONY’ EDITION”; and my, at this time most recent post of Saturday, September 5, 2015, “FLASH UPDATE: “THE ‘IS HILLARY CLINTON GETTING ALL THAT SHE PAID FOR ?’ EDITION”]