Former Clinton aide Cheryl Mills has been allowed to keep her top secret security clearance despite the fact she sent information now deemed classified to the Clinton Foundation and to Clinton’s private unsecured email account, Fox News‘ Catherine Herridge reported in another Fox News exclusive on Monday.
Current and former intelligence officials say it is standard practice to suspend a clearance pending the outcome of an investigation. Yet in the case of Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s former chief of staff at the State Department, two letters indicate this practice is not being followed — even as the Clinton email system remains the subject of an FBI investigation.
Under normal circumstances, Mills would have had her clearance terminated when she left the department. But in January 2014, according to the State Department letter, Clinton designated Mills “to assist in her research.” Mills was the one who reviewed Clinton’s emails before select documents were handed over to the State Department, and others were deleted.
During the daily press briefing at the State Deptartment, AP reporter Matt Lee asked spokesman John Kirby when Mills left the department. When Kirby was unable to answer that question, Herridge jumped in.
“Her clearance was going to be administratively terminated because her employment had finished,” the Fox News reporter explained. “Then Mrs. Clinton asked that it be extended so she could do research, but now we know that her ‘research’ was to go through those emails and determine what was government business and what should be deleted.”
“My question wasn’t related to that,” Lee said.
“Do I even need to be here?” Kirby joked.