Hillary's State Dept chief of staff Cheryl Mills received foreign government money

The scandal involving the former chief of staff for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is what is legal, not illegal.  In simultaneously working for Hillary Clinton as she entered her term as SecState and receiving over half a million dollars from the Abu Dhabi government, Cheryl Mills apparently violated no laws or ethics rules (though experts in the field interviewed by the Washington Post found the arrangement surprising, troubling, and unprecedented).  But c’mon: common sense dictates that you don’t take that kind of cash if you are supposed to be serving the interests of the United States of America.  As Mills, a Stanford-educated lawyer, knows, the common law doctrine is “res ipsa loquitur” – “the thing speaks for itself.”

When Hillary became secretary of state in 2009, Mills, who has been her close aide for decades, assumed a “temporary” unpaid post as her chief of staff, helping with the transition.  While working in this ultra-sensitive position for four months, she received over half a million dollars.  The money originated in Abu Dhabi, which was paying New York University to establish a branch campus in that emirate:

NYU paid her $198,000 in 2009, when her university work overlapped with her time at the State Department, and that she collected an additional $330,000 in vacation and severance payments when she left the school’s payroll in May 2009. (snip)

At the time, her focus was on opening NYU’s campus in Abu Dhabi, a project administered by the private university but, according to NYU, funded by the Abu Dhabi government. Mills had worked on the project since it was announced in 2007, and it remained in the planning phase as she entered the State Department in 2009.

Mills dutifully filed all the disclosure documents, but:

She did not reference the Abu Dhabi element of her role on the forms, which ask only that employees identify the sources and amounts of their outside income.

And in the course of the interview with the WaPo, she was a bit evasive:

When asked whether a State Department ethics officer had reviewed the specifics of her work on the Abu Dhabi project, she did not directly answer. Instead, she said that generally the ethics office “gives everybody advice and guidance on their things, because anybody who is an employee who is coming in might have any number of things that require guidance.”

Like Huma Abedin, Hillary’s other close aide, Mills found it necessary to get permission (readily offered) to have outside income while theoretically serving the American people.  They have served for decades a woman who poses as a champion of “everyday Americans” and receive well into six figures for their part-time work.  I don’t know about you, but that is not my “everyday” experience.