Cheryl Mills, Hillary Clinton’s former chief of staff at the State Department, gave Mack McLarty, a Democratic bundler and Clinton donor, access to a bilateral meeting between the U.S. and China in 2011 that allowed him to promote his automotive business investments in China.
In spring 2011, Mills invited Thomas "Mack" McLarty, Bill Clinton’s former White House chief of staff, to attend the official dinner after McLarty asked for access because of "our substantial family investment in the automotive sector (including electric vehicle development in China)." McLarty later detailed in a thank you email to Mills that the dinner allowed him to connect with both Hillary Clinton and Chinese leaders who deal with the private sector–which, he added, " is of course important to … our automotive activities in China." Mills forwarded the email to Clinton.
McLarty owns several car dealerships worldwide and, at the time of the bilateral event, was with his son trying to expand their business in Asia. In 2012, McLarty sold his dealerships located in China for over $300 million.
McLarty has contributed substantially to Hillary Clinton’s Senate and presidential ambitions, including donating the maximum $2,700 to her 2016 presidential campaign, according to FEC records.
The revelations about Mills’ favor to McLarty were buried in the latest batch of Clinton emails released by the State Department on New Year’s Eve. The agency has been vetting and releasing Clinton’s work-related emails since it was discovered that she used a personal email system to conduct government business during her time in the Obama administration.
The email releases have shed light on a number of instances of Clinton and her aides interacting with major Democratic and Clinton Foundation donors with government interests during her tenure at the State Department.
Clinton herself has been accused of abusing her government position and violating ethics rules, leading a watchdog group to ask the federal government to investigate a number of possible ethics violations involving Clinton.