According to a former State Department Diplomat, Hillary Clinton‘s former confidants at the State Department scrambled tirelessly in an “after-hours” document scrubbing session in an effort to “separate damaging documents” prior to submitting them to the Accountability Review Board which is investigating security lapses surrounding the September 11, 2012, terror attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Former Clinton State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary Raymond Maxwell says the event took place over a period of time spanning an entire weekend in a “basement operations-type center” at the State Department HQ in Washington, D.C.
At the time of the alleged document bleaching event Maxwell was with the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, which was responsible for collecting emails and other documents relevant to the Benghazi probe. He claims he “wasn’t invited” to the event, allegedly focused on removing documents which could shed a “bad light” on the State Department but “heard about it” and decided to investigate.
The story first appeared on The Daily Signal:
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.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, a member of the House Oversight Committee, who has privately interviewed Maxwell, says(video below) the 2 confidants allegedly involved were Clinton’s chief of staff and former White House counsel Cheryl Mills – who once defended former President Bill Clinton during his impeachment trial. Mills is considered to be a member of “Hillaryland,” and served as Senior Adviser and Counsel for Clinton’s unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign.
The other was Jake Sullivan, who worked previously on both Hillary Clinton’s and Barack Obama‘s presidential campaigns. Sullivan was Deputy Assistant to the President and National Security Adviser to Vice President Joe Biden but prior to those positions he was one of Hillary Clinton’s closest advisers, at her side in all 112 countries she visited as secretary of state. In an interview Clinton described Sullivan as a “coolheaded, cleareyed analyst of the problems we faced with our national security.” He’s considered by many to be “a consummate insider.” and will surely be at Clinton’s side if she decides to run again in 2016. His presence at this alleged document shredding party isn’t surprising.
Maxwell was one of 4 State Department officials disciplined in the wake of the 2012 Benghazi attack. He was put on paid administrative leave for a year but no formal charges were ever filed against him. The State Department eventually cleared Maxwell of all wrongdoing and reinstated him but he retired less than a year later. Maxwell has been vocal ever since and claims he was used as a scapegoat.
A few short weeks after being placed on Leave Maxwell says he made an appointment to address the situation with a State Department representative who assured him all was well and insisted he take everything less seriously(bold emphasis is mine):
“She told me, ‘You are taking this all too personally, Raymond. It is not about you,’ ” Maxwell recalls.
“I told her that ‘My name is on TV and I’m on administrative leave, it seems like it’s about me.’ Then she said, ‘You’re not harmed, you’re still getting paid. Don’t watch TV. Take your wife on a cruise. It’s not about you; it’s about Hillary and 2016.’ ”
A one time financial supporter of President Barack Obama, Maxwell now says his insight into the Benghazi event has reversed his opinions of both Obama and Clinton and contends that his role at the State Department was non-security related and as such proves he was sacrificed to shield upper level brass within the Department from scrutiny.
While Mills, Sullivan and Clinton herself failed to respond to inquires made by Sharyl Attkisson of The Daily Signal, an unnamed State Department spokesperson responded that it “would have been impossible for anybody outside the Accountability Review Board (ARB) to control the flow of information because the board cultivated so many sources.”