Cheryl Mills walks out on interview with FBI and Justice Department over Hillary’s emails
There are tantalizing signs that the FBI struck a nerve during an interview with close Hillary Clinton aide Cheryl Mills, conducted jointly by the FBI and Department of Justice. And that the Department of Justice is acting on Hillary’s behalf to quell the flames. The account of the incident by Matt Zapotosky of the Washington Post, which broke the story, was frustratingly vague.
First, let us consider the sourcing of the scoop:
Near the beginning of a recent interview, an FBI investigator broached a topic with longtime Hillary Clinton aide Cheryl Mills that her lawyer and the Justice Department had agreed would be off limits, according to several people familiar with the matter.
Mills and her lawyer left the room — though both returned a short time later — and prosecutors were somewhat taken aback that their FBI colleague had ventured beyond what was anticipated, the people said.
I am not too far out on a limb if I suggest that it was DoJ sources who spoke off the record. They could be the only sources for reporting that they were “somewhat taken aback.” Then there is the fact that FBI generally is less likely to blab to reporters than the more politicized Obama-era DoJ.
So what was it that the “FBI colleague” of the sources brought up and occasioned the walkout?
The questions that were considered off limits had to do with the procedure used to produce emails to the State Department so they could possibly be released publicly, the people said. Mills, an attorney herself, was not supposed to be asked questions about that — and ultimately never was in the recent interview — because it was considered confidential as an example of attorney-client privilege, the people said.
If I understand this correctly, it could refer to the process by which Team Hillary handed over emails to the State Department – in other words, the culling of “personal” emails from her private server. You know, the yoga routines, Chelsea’s wedding dress, and the contributions from foreign sources to the Clinton Foundation. Or it could refer to the process by which State Department officials decided which emails to release to the public.
However, since there are multiple sources of information on the latter process, my money is on the former issue.
And that suggests to me that there may be recovered emails in possession of the FBI that suggest illicit business was discussed in the deleted but recovered emails, and that the raising of the process question tipped off Mills that Big Trouble is ahead.
I have no confidence at all in the Justice Department and its decision to rule out certain areas for questioning. I am no lawyer, but status as legal counsel, which Mills held, does not protect against involvement in a criminal conspiracy.
This is all speculation. But what is certain is that this is a sign that the FBI and Justice Department are at odds over the conduct of the investigation.
And the leaking to the WaPo seems to be another example of pre-emptive leaking by pro-Hillary forces, positioning her to be able to claim unfairness in the investigation once it is concluded.