The Washington Post reported Tuesday afternoon that Hillary Clinton’s former Chief of Staff at the State Department, Cheryl Mills, walked out on an FBI interview that was part of the email investigation:
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.
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.
The fact that the procedures used to sort Clinton’s email is such a big secret is certainly not without irony. Clinton may not have devoted much thought or care to keeping her correspondence secure from hackers, at least one of whom has claimed he gained access to the site, but she certainly put a lot of thought into making sure no one could gainsay her decisions about those deleted emails.
The Post adds that “investigators have found scant evidence tying Clinton to criminal wrongdoing, though they are still probing the case aggressively and charges have not been ruled out.” The fact that charges have not been ruled out seems like boilerplate. It seems unlikely charges would ever be ruled out before an investigation was complete. But this is the second time in two weeks that leaks to the news media have suggested no charges are forthcoming. Last week CNN reported that investigators had found no, “evidence to prove that Clinton willfully violated the law.” And while that description seemed to leave open a door for charges based on “gross negligence” the Post report seems to close that door.
What is difficult to understand is why information coming from people with ties to the FBI seemed to be suggesting there was plenty of evidence to bring charges. Was this wishful thinking on the part of people who don’t like Clinton anyway? Alternatively, are the current leaks minimizing what the FBI has found? We should have some sort of official answer to those questions in the next couple of weeks.