The State Department under Hillary Clinton played favorites and failed to fully investigate at least two cases of sexual misconduct involving a U.S. ambassador and a security officer, according to an inspector general’s report.
The inspector general reviewed eight internal investigations and found that in three of them “undue influence and favoritism by Department management” appeared to be at play.
In one case from May 2011, security staff at a U.S. Embassy believed they observed a U.S. ambassador soliciting a prostitute in a public park near the unnamed embassy.
Though an agent in the State Department began a preliminary investigation, “two days later, the agent was directed to stop further inquiry because of a decision by senior Department officials to treat the matter as a ‘management issue,'” the report reads.
In June 2011, the ambassador traveled back to Washington, D.C. and met with the under secretary of state for management and the chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Clinton served in that capacity from Jan. 2009 until Feb. 2013.
“At the meeting, the Ambassador denied the allegations and was then permitted to return to post. The Department took no further action affecting the Ambassador,” the inspector general found.
Though the State Department said that it could not substantiate the allegations and that “no further investigation was possible,” the inspector general concluded that additional evidence could have been collected.
“For example, before the preliminary inquiry was halted, only one of multiple potential witnesses on the embassy’s security staff had been interviewed,” the report states.
State also never interviewed the ambassador. The agency also failed to document the case; no case number was assigned to the investigation nor were case files created.
The inspector general noted that the State Department does not have guidelines for what constitutes “management issues.”
The inspector general flagged another case of undue influence involving sexual misconduct allegations against a State Department asset.
In 2011, a regional security officer stationed overseas was accused of sexual misconduct and harassment. The officer’s behavior fit a pattern; he had been accused of similar behavior seven previous posts over the course of 10 years. In one case from 2006, the officer was suspended for five days.
The inspector general noted several failures, including an “undue delay” in beginning an investigation and a failure to remove the officer from posts where he “could potentially harm other employees.”
Despite gathering “overwhelming evidence” against the officer, State Department investigators experienced resistance from top brass who “had personal relationships” with the accused officer, the inspector general found.
During one interview with a State Department manager, who was also described as a friend of the officer, investigators claimed that the manager attempted to “intimidate” them. He also called the investigation into his friend a “witch hunt.”
The officer was not fired from the State Department until 2014, three years after the investigation began.
The inspector general’s report bears some similarity to a recent report from The Washington Post. (RELATED: Investigator Says He Was Told To Sit On Prostitution Inquiry)
The Post reported earlier this month that an investigator with the office of the inspector general with the Department of Homeland Security determined that the White House conducted a sparse investigation of one of its volunteer staffer who was believed to have hired a prostitute during a presidential visit to Colombia in 2012.
Ten Secret Service agents were fired after an extensive investigation into their behavior on the Colombian trip. But according to the Post, the White House was less thorough in investigating the claims against its staffer. The investigator with the inspector general’s office accused his own bosses of trying to stifle the report, saying that the DHS inspector general has no jurisdiction over the White House.
The staffer accused of hiring the prostitute, a Yale graduate by the name of Jonathan Dach, has since been appointed to the State Department’s Office of Global Women’s Issues.