In the early days of the Hillary Clinton email scandal, a longtime Clinton ally blasted the former secretary of state’s inner circle for hiding facts about her personal email use.
“Speaking of transparency, our friends Kendall, Cheryl and Phillipe [sic] sure weren’t forthcoming on the facts here,” Neera Tanden wrote in a March 2, 2015 email to John Podesta, the chairman of the Clinton campaign.
Tanden, a top official on Clinton’s 2008 campaign who now serves as president of the think tank, Center for American Progress, was referring to Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall, her State Department chief of staff Cheryl Mills and Philippe Reines, another State Department aide.
Tanden went on to criticize Mills, who also now works as Clinton’s lawyer.
“This is a cheryl special,” she wrote. “Know you love her, but this stuff is like her Achilles heal. Or kryptonite. she just can’t say no to this shit.”
“Why didn’t they get this stuff out like 18 months ago? So crazy,” she added.
Clinton’s exclusive use of a personal email account was exposed the same day as the email exchange in a bombshell New York Times article. Clinton flouted State Department policies regarding the use of personal email account. She also violated the spirit of the Federal Records Act by failing to return her work-related emails to the State Department when she left her job there in Feb. 2013.
She did not turn over the emails until Dec. 2014, nearly two years after leaving office. Even then, Clinton only returned the federal records after the State Department hounded her to do so.
“Unbelievable” was Podesta’s response to Tanden’s venting.
“I guess I know the answer,” Tanden wrote, “they wanted to get away with it.”
The email exchange was released on Tuesday by Wikileaks and was hacked from Podesta’s Gmail account.
Mills has been less than forthcoming — if not outright deceptive — on numerous other email-related issues. She may have lied to the FBI about whether she knew that Clinton used a private email server while she was in office. Mills told investigators she did not know about the server, but email traffic during Mills’ and Clinton’s tenure show that the top Clinton aide discussed the server on several occasions. (RELATED: Clinton Aides Told FBI They Didn’t Know About Server, But Emails Suggest Otherwise)