WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - August 10, 2016) - Judicial Watch today released the responses by former Clinton Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills to Judicial Watch interrogatories, revealing that shortly after "Guccifer" hacked the email account of long-time Clinton advisor Sidney Blumenthal, Mills and former State Department IT official Brian Pagliano discussed the danger of Guccifer's actions compromising Clinton's unsecure non-state.gov email system:
"I recall having conversations with Bryan Pagliano, which I believe were by telephone…in or around March 2013, when the email account of Sidney Blumenthal was compromised by a hacker known as Guccifer. As I recall, these discussions involved whether this event might affect Secretary Clinton's email …"
Judicial Watch deposed Mills on May 27, 2016. During her testimony, Ms. Mills declined to answer multiple questions purportedly based upon privilege assertions on behalf of Hillary Clinton. Rather than face a motion to compel answers in federal court, Ms. Mills answered the questions, posed again as interrogatories, in writing under oath.
Mills also revealed in her responses to the interrogatories that she had discussions with Pagliano concerning a group called Platte River Networks, then being considered as the private company to take over servicing the Clinton email system:
"In and or around Summer or Fall 2014, when we were seeking to gather Secretary Clinton's emails to provide those that were work-related to the Department of State. As I recall, these discussions involved whether Platte River Networks would have the technical capacity and be the appropriate source from which to gather Secretary Clinton's email from the clintonemail.com system."
Mills also denied ever "discussing [with Pagliano] in any of the above conversations the initial set up of the clintonemail.com system, including who set up the system, when it was set up, where the system was located, the reason for which it had been established, or anything related to Huma Abedin's email account."
In response to interrogatories about any conversations she had with Justin Cooper -- a former aide to President Clinton who has been linked to registration documents for the non-state-gov email server at the center of Mrs. Clinton's State Department emails controversy -- Mills said:
"To the best of my recollection, I had telephone conversations with Justin Cooper about the initial set up of Secretary Clinton's email in early 2015. I recall that Justin advised me that President Clinton's office originally hosted its office staff email on an Apple server, and that in 2009, their email was migrated to a newer server that was acquired from excess equipment available from Secretary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign. I recall that Justin advised me that Secretary Clinton's clintonemail.com account was later added to this existing server when she transitioned from the email address she had used while she was in the Senate. I believe that Justin advised me that Bryan Pagliano had assisted with the installation of this newer server… I believe Justin identified Bryan Pagliano as having knowledge about the initial set up of the clintonemail.com system."
Another interrogatory asked Ms. Mills about conversations she had with Oscar Flores, the property manager at the Clinton's residence in Chappaqua, New York, where Clinton housed her non-state.gov email system. Mills responded she had one conversation with Flores in early 2015:
"Oscar advised me that Justin Cooper, who had previously served as President Clinton's aide and advisor, might have more information about the email system than Oscar had."
The Mills interrogatories result from a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit before U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan that seeks records about the controversial employment status of Huma Abedin, former Deputy Chief of Staff to Clinton. The lawsuit was reopened because of revelations about the clintonemail.com system. (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)).
The court granted discovery on the clintonemail.com system and Judicial Watch deposed seven former Clinton top aides and current State Department officials, including top Clinton aides Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin. Judicial Watch also deposed IT official Brian Pagliano, who asserted his Fifth Amendment right not to testify during the Judicial Watch deposition. In granting Judicial Watch discovery, the court ruled that Judicial Watch may seek permission for Clinton's testimony, if necessary. Judicial Watch is currently seeking permission for the deposition of Clinton.
"Cheryl Mills' conversation with Brian Pagliano expressing concern that the impact of Guccifer's hack of Sidney Blumenthal's email account confirms that there was high anxiety among Clinton's inner circle about the vulnerabilities of Clinton's non-state.gov email system," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "It is notable that Hillary Clinton and her lawyers, rather than face a motion to compel in federal court, backed away from their obstructionist privilege claims to finally provide more answers from Cheryl Mills about Clinton's email scheme under oath."