Commentary

Judicial Watch Sues for Info on Team Hillary at State Department

Tom Fitton
By Tom Fitton | December 29, 2015 | 12:26 PM EST

Huma Abedin, who has been at Hillary Rodham Clinton's side as her personal assistant or "body woman" since the 2008 presidential race, faced criticism for standing by her husband, former Rep. Anthony Weiner, after sexting scandals that damaged his political career. She now has to defend her own actions with the Clinton Foundation and the State Department email scandal. (AP File Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Earlier this month Judicial Watch announced the filing of a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking ethics and employment records of Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, the longtime and ethically-challenged aides of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The lawsuit was filed after the State Department failed to comply with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request submitted on August 18, 2015.  Judicial Watch is seeking access to the following records on Mills:

  • All SF-85s and 85Ps; SF-86s; SF-450s; certificates of divestiture; individual waivers or any other applicable ethics statues, regulations, guidelines or agreements.

A separate FOIA request, submitted on August 19, 2015, seeks access to Abedin’s and Mills’ OF-109 forms, which are signed, under penalty of perjury, by departing government employees stating they have turned over all official documents and records to the State Department.  The OF-109 form records are not limited to classified material. It requires that all records must be left in the hands of the State Department, including emails.

The other documents Judicial Watch requests, such as the SF-85 form, are filled out by incoming government employees, detailing past work history, education, and references.  Other Judicial Watch litigation forced Clinton to admit that Abedin used Clinton’s email system to conduct government business, leading to both Abedin and Mills turning over thousands of emails from non-governmental accounts to the State Department for review and disclosure to Judicial Watch.  Emails uncovered from Abedin’s account described Clinton as “often confused.”

And Hillary Clinton’s cover-up expert Cheryl Mills is in the middle of another major Hillary Clinton scandal.  Judicial Watch previously released documents revealing that between 2009 and 2011 former President Clinton spoke to more than two dozen leading international investment firms and banking institutions, many of them on more than one occasion.  At least one of the documents shows that Mills used a non-governmental email account for the Clinton ethics reviews. Mills reportedly negotiated the “ethics agreement” on behalf of the Clintons and the Foundation that required the Clintons to submit to rigorous conflict-of-interest checks. Despite this, and in apparent violation of Obama administration ethics rules, the documents reveal that Bill Clinton’s requests for speaking engagement approval were invariably copied to Mills, who was involved in ethics reviews as chief of staff for Mrs. Clinton at the State Department.

The Washington Post reported that Mills was unpaid for her first few months at the State Department, “officially designated as a temporary expert-consultant — a status that allowed her to continue to collect outside income while serving as chief of staff.”  Isn’t that convenient, especially as the Post notes that Mills work involved a project funded by the foreign government of Abu Dhabi and:

“… is another example of how Clinton as secretary allowed close aides to conduct their public work even as they performed jobs benefiting private interests. Another key Clinton aide, Huma Abedin, spent her last six months as Clinton’s deputy chief of staff in 2012 simultaneously employed by the Clinton Foundation, the family’s global charity, and a consulting company with close Clinton connections.  Similarly, Mills remained on the Clinton Foundation’s unpaid board for a short time after joining the State Department.”

Mills confirmed her “unpaid” arrangement at the State Department to the Benghazi Committee, which included acting as an Envoy to Haiti (allegedly, another nation repeatedly plundered by Clinton corruption).

Separate Judicial Watch FOIA litigation raised questions about whether Abedin received an illegal patronage job from Clinton’s State Department.  Records forced out of the State Department reveal Abedin failed to produce important financial and employment information as required by law before obtaining her position as a special government employee (SGE) in 2012.

Our new FOIA lawsuit is making news.  This is how the Daily Caller reported on these latest developments:

“Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits against the Department of State are piling up fast thanks in part to non-profit transparency cop Judicial Watch, which said Wednesday it is going to court to force release of federal employment documents of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s two closest aides.”

This new lawsuit should be news.  The State Department is breaking federal transparency law to provide cover for Mrs. Clinton and those who are now working for the Clintons: Huma Abedin, vice chairwoman of the campaign; and Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s counselor and a member of the board of directors for the Clinton Foundation.  It shouldn’t take untold months and a federal lawsuit to get the Obama administration to turn over a dozen forms about top officials.  This appears to be yet another cover-up.

Tom Fitton is the President of Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption. Founded in 1994, Judicial Watch seeks to ensure government and judicial officials act ethically and do not abuse the powers entrusted to them by the American public.