Hillary Clinton’s former chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, told lawyers from Judicial Watch that she was unaware of high-level discussions about Clinton’s use of a private email server for official communications. Mills asserts that the use of her personal account was understood, according to her deposition given last week.
The release of the deposition comes just days after the inspector general’s report said Clinton “broke the rules” with her private server use. Mills’ remarks suggest that Clinton and her aides overestimated the State Department’s ability to preserve emails exchanged with government employees.
The former chief of staff also refuted claims that Clinton’s server was kept under wraps, although the IG’s report found no evidence that she sought approval for the account.
The deposition lasted nearly seven hours and was part of a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, a legal watchdog group. Video of the testimony was prohibited from being released, but the transcripts were released earlier in the week.
Mills acknowledged that she discussed the server and the account with Clinton after both had left the State Department, but could not reveal any details about that conversation as she is now representing Clinton as an attorney.
The main area of concern that the IG’s report focuses on is that none of Clinton’s emails during her tenure as Secretary of State were captured, which means they are inaccessible for FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests.
When faced with the proposal of using a State Department BlackBerry device, which would mask her identity but make her emails subject to FOIA requests, Clinton said “it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”