Hillary Clinton’s top aide was closely involved in vetting a politically sensitive document requested under public information laws, according to emails from the Department of State released on Thursday.
Public records officials at the State Department sought clearance from Clinton’s chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, in 2012 before releasing a memo related to the Bush administration’s enhanced interrogation program.
The email corroborates a Wall Street Journal article last May that reported that Mills had been involved in vetting documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act, a process that is typically expected to be independent of political influence.
Sheryl Walter, the director of the State Department’s public information office, wrote to Patrick Kennedy, the State Department’s undersecretary for management, and other officials on April 2, 2012 to inform of them of a “pending FOIA release likely to get press attention.”
The document being released was a 2006 paper known as the “Zelikow memo,” which had been written by a Bush administration official concerning the government’s enhanced interrogation program.
Walter told Kennedy in an email that “Cheryl Mills is aware and has cleared” the memo for release.
“I wanted to be sure you all were in the loop on this now so that you won’t be taken by surprise and were assured this has been fully vetted, cleared, and planned for,” wrote Walter.