Judicial Watch: New State Department Emails Reveal Top Clinton Aide Focused on Her Private Company’s Logo 24 Hours After Deadly Benghazi Attack
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch today released State Department emails, written 24 hours after the terrorist attack on the Benghazi consulate, in which former Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills quickly moved past condolences over the slaying of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens to focus her attention on the design of her private company’s logo by prominent international advertising firm GSD&M. Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation against the State Department forced Mills and other Clinton aides to turn over emails from non-State.gov accounts on which they conducted government business.
The emails, obtained under a court order in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, reference the logo design for the “cdmillsGroup,” a private company set up by Mills on January 3, 2013, a month before she left her job at the State Department. The Mills “cdmillsGroup” logo discussion includes another government employee, Jean-Louis Warnholz, then-State Department senior advisor to Hillary Clinton. (Warnholz would go on to be a business partner with Ms. Mills in another company.)
The Judicial Watch lawsuit was filed on September 4, 2014, (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:14-cv-01511)), seeking:
- All records related to notes, updates, or reports created in response to the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. This request includes, but is not limited to, notes taken by then Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton or employees of the Office of the Secretary of State during the attack and its immediate aftermath.
On September 13, 2012, at 4:31 p.m., Judy Trabulsi, a co-founder of the GSD&M advertising firm, sent Mills the following email:
Cheryl — I haven’t stopped watching the news and my heart breaks for Ambassador Stevens’ family, for Hillary (and you) and all those who worked with him. What an amazing life he lived and he had to be among the best Ambassadors in the Foreign Service.
I was going to give you the printouts of the new logos tomorrow (I think they are great) but thought you’d like to look at them over the weekend.
Sending a “heart hug” to you.
Much love – Judy
Trabulsi also attached for Mills another email describing proposed logos:
The first has the cdmillsGroup logo in the sans-serif and the second has it in the serif font. Adjusted the burnt orange color to be more accurate. Both pdfs show the logo, letterhead, business card and envelope. The tag line is printed like a watermark on the letterhead. In addition, as we discussed, you’ll find the “double-globe endeavor branding element” used on a brochure cover and two powerpoint slides. Don’t hesitate to email me back with any questions.
Mills responded to Trabulsi on September 13, 2012 at 11:32 p.m.:
The bough bent and nearly broke this week – Chris was truly one of our best – HRC had picked him especially to go b/c of who he was and what he represented. And Sean was a rising star. Tomorrow we will welcome their remains home wondering how this would be possible. Thank you for your kind words. And thanks for these – I really like them.
I think my preference is the one that is sans serif font. I will scan some comments on them this weekend – I think it’s exactly what I would want so would have only a few tweaks. Thank you so very much.
Mills also forwarded the logo discussion to Jean-Louis Warnholz that night without comment. Warnholz, a senior advisor to Mrs. Clinton at the State Department, responded the next day, September 14, 2012, at 1:06 p.m.:
I really like the cdmillsGroup in sans serif font (first attachment) with the slogan. It’s clean and compelling. I still have reservations about the two globes. It just feels a bit too generic to me.
Separate Judicial Watch FOIA litigation uncovered documents that show that Cheryl Mills used the cdmillsGroup to represent Hillary Clinton in communications with the State Department about Mrs. Clinton’s separate email system.
The cdmillsGroup is apparently still in business. The Hillary For America campaign’s September 3 FEC disbursement report lists a $28,500 payment to the “CdmillsGroup LLC.”
Judicial Watch previously released documents revealing that between 2009 and 2011 former President Clinton spoke to more than two dozen leading international investment firms and banking institutions, many of them on more than one occasion. At least one of the documents shows that Mills used a non-governmental email account for the Clinton ethics reviews. Mills reportedly negotiated the “ethics agreement” on behalf of the Clintons and the Foundation that required the Clintons to submit to rigorous conflict-of-interest checks. Despite this, and in apparent violation of Obama administration ethics rules, the documents reveal that Bill Clinton’s requests for speaking engagement approval were invariably copied to Mills, who was involved in ethics reviews as chief of staff for Mrs. Clinton at the State Department.
The Washington Post reported that Mills was unpaid for her first few months at the State Department, “officially designated as a temporary expert-consultant — a status that allowed her to continue to collect outside income while serving as chief of staff.” (Judicial Watch recently filed a FOIA lawsuit for the ethics and employment records of Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, another longtime Clinton aide.)
“These new Benghazi emails are almost obscene,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “That Hillary Clinton aide and confidante Cheryl Mills was focused on the font for the logo of her new company – as our Benghazi facility was still smoldering – is unconscionable. And it is no coincidence that Mills used her new business to help Hillary Clinton cover up her email scandal.”