Top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s lawyer for the email investigation has a glaring conflict-of-interest in the case: he was an Obama administration “point person” on Benghazi who dealt with classified information and exchanged redacted emails with Hillary Clinton.
Miguel Rodriguez of the Washington law firm Bryan Cave is part of Abedin’s big-money legal team and is already handling communications with the government on her behalf during the scandal.
But Rodriguez brings some personal baggage to his role as Abedin’s counsel, as first noted by blogger Ron Brynaert.
Before joining Bryan Cave, Rodriguez served as deputy assistant secretary at Hillary Clinton’s State Department; then he was President Obama’s legislative director, where he became a “point person” on the administration’s Benghazi response.
“Once the attack piqued the interests of lawmakers, there were dozens of hearings, some of them classified,” the Washington Post reported in March 2013. “Senators and representatives had reports to review and questions they wanted answered about Benghazi. With the integrity and reputations of both Obama and Clinton on the line, Rodriguez emerged as a behind-the-scenes point person, colleagues said.”
Hillary Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines told the Post that “Miguel was not just in the thick of it; he was at the forefront of it. It was just an around-the-clock effort, and we leaned on Miguel as if he never left State.”
On October 28, 2010, Rodriguez pinged Abedin on a group email with subject line “Baby,” which Abedin forwarded to Hillary with the line “Fyi.” That entire email was completely redacted in the State Department’s ongoing release of some Clinton emails.
Rodriguez advised top Clinton staffer Jacob Sullivan in July 2010 on a hearing chaired by Sen. Bob Menendez regarding the Libyan “Lockerbie Bomber,” and Sullivan forwarded Rodriguez’s advice to Clinton.
“I asked who they think Menendez might want to call as a witness. They said Tony Blair. I laughed. They didn’t,” Rodriguez wrote.
Rodriguez offered advice to a Clinton State Department spokesman in a November 24, 2009 email that was forwarded directly to Clinton through her top aide Cheryl Mills.
“Our nominations wallah — perhaps you have met him already, Miguel Rodriguez — agrees with my gut that, if you are announced before the trip next week, you should probably send someone else in your place,” State Department official Matthew Rooney wrote to former Clinton State Department spokesman Ian Kelly. “Even though your day job gives you every reason to go, as soon as you are public you want to avoid any gesture that a Senator could interpret as presuming advice and consent.”
A representative for Rodriguez at Bryan Cave did not provide a comment for this report.