Blog ››› ››› CYDNEY HARGIS
A new CNN investigation scandalizes the Clinton Foundation by baselessly suggesting that Hillary Clinton aide Cheryl Mills possibly violated government ethics rules by simultaneously working for the State Department and volunteering for the Foundation. But CNN’s own reporting debunks these claims, explaining that Mills was not a paid employee at the Clinton Foundation and the State Department permitted employees to engage in outside volunteer activities while on personal time.
CNN’s August 11 investigation into Mills’ volunteer work suggested that the supposed revelation that Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills traveled to New York to interview staff candidates for Clinton Foundation in 2012 “raises new questions about the blurred lines that have dogged the Clintons in recent years.” During an August 11 edition of CNN’s The Lead, investigative correspondent David Griffin questioned whether Mills’ role was “in violation of government ethics rules.”
But CNN’s own reporting undermines the suggestion that Mills acted improperly. According to Griffin, the State Department released a statement confirming that “federal employees are permitted to engage in outside personal activities” and an article published by CNN noted that Mills was on personal time while volunteering for the foundation.
DAVID GRIFFIN: CNN has asked the State Department all of these questions, this was the response: “Federal employees are permitted to engage in outside personal activities within the scope of the federal ethics rules.” A State spokesperson tells CNN, “All federal employees are subject to federal ethics laws and regulations including rules pertaining to conflicts of interest.”
Media reports on the Clintons frequently suggest that their actions “raise questions,” even as the underlying facts provide no evidence of wrongdoing. CNN’s investigative report follows the media’s baseless accusations that Clinton’s State Department engaged in a “quid pro quo” relationship with Clinton Foundation donors. The allegations originated from the anti-Clinton right-wing group Judicial Watch, an organization that has spent years attacking the Clintons in the press and hyping false Clinton email stories.