“It is my hope that the transcript will be released immediately. I think that she would want it that way and I certainly want it that way,” Cummings near the room where Mills was being interviewed.
Later, Cummings said the interview reinforced the inaccuracy of some GOP claims about Benghazi. "The secretary did not personally authorize cables that reduced the State Department’s security in Libya, and she did not order the military to stand down, as some have alleged,” Cummings said in his summary of the session.
A source familiar with the testimony said Mills also told the panel that Clinton’s team did not shield any of Clinton’s work-related messages from public view or destroy them, confirming an account of Mills’ comments on the issue in Politico.
Clinton turned over roughly 30,000 emails to the State Department last year that had been on her private server, while deleting a roughly equal number that she deemed personal.
But Republicans have said Clinton could have withheld important information, charges that grew after Clinton confidant Sid Blumenthal turned over a batch of his emails with Clinton to the Benghazi panel that included a limited number that the State Department could not find.
Cummings has accused Republicans of mischaracterizing the June closed-door deposition of Blumenthal in leaks to the press, and at the time similarly called—to no avail—for the release of the transcript of Blumenthal’s full comments.
On Thursday, Cummings noted that Mills asked to testify in public, but that Republicans did not allow it.
The Benghazi panel has not been releasing the transcripts of any of its closed-door sessions, and Gowdy said that was not going to change when asked about the Mills interview that he said would he handle as classified, at least for now.
“The process is, these transcripts ... need to be looked at by entities that have equities in my questions and the answers provided,” Gowdy told reporters late Thursday afternoon. “I am not going to release something that, in hindsight, I say, 'oops, I should not have released that'. I’d rather err on the side of you all being upset with me that I am not releasing it then err in the side of releasing it and then having to explain afterwards what I did.”
The Benghazi panel is probing the 2012 attacks at a diplomatic compound and nearby CIA facility that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
Jake Sullivan, another top Clinton State Department aide, is slated to appear at a similar closed-door session tomorrow. He’s now working for Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Gowdy and several other GOP members of the committee came back to Washington from the congressional summer recess to take part in the questioning.
The interviews are a key part of the investigation because Mills and Sullivan were in Clinton’s innermost circle at State, and thousands of pages of Clinton’s emails released in recent days and months show them both in frequent contact with Clinton over her private server.