Oh, man. If this is true —if!— the potential damage to Hillary’s presidential
campaign coronation could be immense, if not fatal:
As the House Select Committee on Benghazi prepares for its first hearing this week, a former State Department diplomat is coming forward with a startling allegation: Hillary Clinton confidants were part of an operation to “separate” damaging documents before they were turned over to the Accountability Review Board investigating security lapses surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.
According to former Deputy Assistant Secretary Raymond Maxwell, the after-hours session took place over a weekend in a basement operations-type center at State Department headquarters in Washington, D.C. This is the first time Maxwell has publicly come forward with the story.
At the time, Maxwell was a leader in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, which was charged with collecting emails and documents relevant to the Benghazi probe.
Maxwell says the weekend document session was held in the basement of the State Department’s Foggy Bottom headquarters in a room underneath the “jogger’s entrance.” He describes it as a large space, outfitted with computers and big screen monitors, intended for emergency planning, and with small offices on the periphery.
When he arrived, Maxwell says he observed boxes and stacks of documents. He says a State Department office director, whom Maxwell described as close to Clinton’s top advisers, was there. Though the office director technically worked for him, Maxwell says he wasn’t consulted about her weekend assignment.
“She told me, ‘Ray, we are to go through these stacks and pull out anything that might put anybody in the [Near Eastern Affairs] front office or the seventh floor in a bad light,’” says Maxwell. He says “seventh floor” was State Department shorthand for then-Secretary of State Clinton and her principal advisers.
“I asked her, ‘But isn’t that unethical?’ She responded, ‘Ray, those are our orders.’ ”
A few minutes after he arrived, Maxwell says, in walked two high-ranking State Department officials.
The “two high-ranking officials,” per Maxwell, were Jake Sullivan, Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff, and Cheryl Mills, her Chief of Staff. The latter is very significant, as Mills is known for being a hard core Hillary loyalist and her “fixer.” (For more on Cheryl Mills, see here and here.) And here we now have the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs asserting that he stumbled into scrubbing party meant to protect Hillary.
These documents had been demanded by the Accountability Review Board looking into the Benghazi massacre. One wonders, now, if they did see everything, or did they receive a carefully scrubbed “Reader’s Digest” version.
It should be noted that Mr. Maxwell was one of those held accountable by the ARB for Benghazi and was on administrative leave for a year with pay before retiring. Though later cleared and never punished by State, his name was traduced in the press at the time, so a revenge motive has to be kept in mind.
But, that does not make what he claims untrue. Nor does it make it true, but it does most certainly make it something Rep. Trey Gowdy’s Select Committee will want to dig into deeply. As Brut Hume put it:
If this is confirmed, it’s a big deal as it points unmistakably to the Benghazi cover-up many have long suspected. http://t.co/DLYz6wIm5k
— Brit Hume (@brithume) September 15, 2014