Republican National Committee Files FOIA Request on Hillary Clinton Personnel Practices

It's the latest round in a continuing scrutiny of the Democratic frontrunners' managerial practices as secretary of state.

The Republican National Committee is pressing the State Department for information on whether former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and her chief of staff at the department, Cheryl Mills, failed to disclose a special arrangement allowing Mills to hold outside jobs.

A Freedom of Information Act request the RNC sent to the department Friday demands a copy of all records related to Mills' "selection, approval, status, and/or classification of Mills" as a special government employee in 2009 and again in 2013. Coming on the heels of a disclosure that Clinton's release of business-related emails she sent on a private account was incomplete, the RNC's latest move underscores Republicans' determination to maintain a relentless focus on the Democratic presidential frontrunner's managerial practices.

Cheryl Mills served as counselor and chief of staff for U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Cheryl Mills served as counselor and chief of staff for U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Photographer: JIN LEE/Getty Images

The RNC request follows a report that Mills had a special arrangement in 2009 that enabled her to continue to hold outside positions with the William J. Clinton Foundation, New York University, and as a board member for the school's UAE-funded Abu Dhabi campus.

At issue, for the RNC, is why Mills then was not included on a list of all special government employees for the year 2009, released by State last year in response to a FOIA request from ProPublica. She was included in a list for the year 2013.

Clinton's campaign had no immediate comment on the FOIA request.

 “The fact that Secretary Clinton’s top State Department aide was allowed to receive outside income while serving as her Chief of Staff, and failed to disclose it is troubling," says RNC Research Director and Deputy Communications Director Raj Shah. "Now we are seeking to determine Mills’ and Clinton’s roles in covering it up."

The FOIA request Friday from the RNC calls for all records related to “ProPublica’s FOIA request regarding State Department special Government employees” including any discussion related to why Mills may have not been included in the 2009 list.

"To clarify, this request includes any records that may exist about ProPublica’s FOIA and why Cheryl Mills’ 2009 special Government status was excluded from the State Department’s FOIA response," the FOIA request states.

A State Department spokesman said the agency does not typically comment on FOIA requests.

Previous news accounts have reported another close Clinton aide, Huma Abedin, had been given special government employee status under Clinton, which also allowed her to have outside work along with being a part-time employee of the State Department.

The RNC has previously sent the State Department FOIA demands focused on Mills and other top aides who served there under Clinton, including Abedin and another longtime political adviser, Philippe Reines, regarding anything that said the words “Freedom of Information Act” or “FOIA” for discussions on the topic or other matters in which they may have intervened.

 The RNC had not previously asked "for all records pertaining to any individual FOIA request or any matter outside of FOIA policy, such as employees receiving Special Government Employee status," said Shah.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE