It will surprise no one that Hillary Clinton’s staff tampered with Benghazi evidence. What is more surprising is that a former State Department official witnessed it and is willing to talk about it.
The witness is former Deputy Assistant Secretary Raymond Maxwell, who has told his story to Sharyl Attkisson of the Daily Signal. He was, in his own words, “scapegoated,” for the Benghazi incident, though later all allegations were dropped and he was offered his position back.
He has reason to be “disgruntled” but he has no need to clear his name by making accusation against anyone else.
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.’ ”
In an interview Monday morning on Fox News, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, named the two Hillary Clinton confidants who allegedly were present: One was Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff and a former White House counsel who defended President Bill Clinton during his impeachment trial. The other, Chaffetz said, was Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan, who previously worked on Hillary Clinton’s and then Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns.
“When Cheryl saw me, she snapped, ‘Who are you?’” Maxwell says. “Jake explained, ‘That’s Ray Maxwell, an NEA deputy assistant secretary. She conceded, ‘Well, OK.”
Maxwell says the two officials, close confidants of Clinton, appeared to check in on the operation and soon left.
Maxwell says after Mills and Sullivan arrived, he, the office director and an intern moved into a small office where they looked through some papers. Maxwell says his stack included pre-attack telegrams and cables between the U.S. embassy in Tripoli and State Department headquarters.
So here is direct testimony from someone who should know that there has been evidence tampering for Hillary Clinton. Of course, it is entirely up to Congress to investigate. The Department of Justice under Eric Holder will do everything it can to assist the cover-up.