Clinton aide helped outside employer get high-profile Clinton speech, emails show

Hillary Clinton's top aide at the State Department who simultaneously worked for New York University helped arrange Clinton's high-profile speech at the school in 2009, according to internal State Department emails released last week.

Clinton aide Cheryl Mills was working as both State Department chief of staff and as NYU general counsel from January to May 2009, the Washington Free Beacon first reported last month. Mills helped the school bring Clinton as its May 13, 2009, commencement speaker and was involved in her speech-drafting process, emails indicate.

The university announced in March 2009 that Clinton would speak at the event. Securing the secretary of state was a significant coup for NYU, and led to a record audience and increased publicity.

NYU officials thanked Mills in emails that she passed along to Clinton. They were included in a large collection of emails released by the State Department last week.

In one May 14, 2009, email, NYU public affairs vice president Lynne Brown described the event, which was held at Yankee Stadium, as a record-breaking success.

"Cheryl: Thanks for all your help and guidance on getting HRC to our Commencement," Brown wrote. "Clearly she was a hit! Her presence and her message added luster to the event."

Brown added that the university event director "reported record attendance for NYU Commencement and largest seated graduation in NYU history: over 27,000."

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