Benenson Has Trouble Explaining Why Top Clinton Aide Asked for Limited Immunity

September 25, 2016

The chief strategist for Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Joel Benenson, could not clearly explain Sunday why Clinton’s former chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, asked the FBI for limited immunity if she did nothing wrong.

"Let’s turn to another issue," Fox News’ Chris Wallace said. "We learned on Friday that as part of the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email system that Cheryl Mills, her chief of staff when Clinton was secretary of state, that she was one of the people, five people, who received limited immunity. How do you explain that, Joel?"

Benenson first said that limited immunity is "fairly routine."

"It’s fairly appropriate and routine when people are sitting down with them, turning over a wealth of materials that have nothing to do with the investigation at hand," Benenson said.

"Well, it had something to do with the investigation," Wallace said. "They wanted the laptop for a reason."

Wallace then asked point blank if Mills, or anyone on Clinton’s staff, did anything wrong and to explain why she asked for and received immunity for a criminal investigation that could have led to prosecution.

Benenson had trouble responding.

"Because the reason for that, Chris, is so that if you’re handing over a vast amount of materials, something like your computer or your blackberry or whatever, it could be files that they want, that are not germane or relevant, it could be conversations with anybody else, your accountant, somebody," Benenson said.

Benson then said the FBI offered Mills the immunity.

"Law enforcement offers this up to you to encourage you to sit down and provide–" Benenson said.

"Well, they didn’t offer it to her," Wallace corrected. "Cheryl Mills asked for it."

Benenson reiterated that it is a routine process.

"But, it’s a fairly routine process, and you know that Chris," Benenson said.

"Actually, I'll be honest," Wallace said. "I didn’t– I don’t know that."

Benenson cut him off to ask if he could finish answering the question.

"Can I finish the answer quickly?" Benenson said. "So, that they can get a good look at the information that is germane to their investigation. That’s what they wanted. They wanted to make sure they had access to Cheryl Mills’ information about emails."