The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform recently heard new information that could blow the lid off of the Hillary Clinton private email server scandal and shed new light on a consulting job Huma Abedin held while working as Clinton’s aide at the State Department.
The Daily Caller learned of a three-hour May 1 meeting two State Department whistleblowers held with the general counsel and staffers for the Oversight Committee, which is led by Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz.
According to a copy of notes from that meeting, State Department whistleblower Richard Higbie and another whistleblower told of an inspector-turned-whistleblower with State’s office of the inspector general who claims his investigation into Abedin’s work with Teneo Holdings, a consulting firm, led to the discovery of Clinton’s private email server.
According to the notes, the whistleblower also told Higbie that the investigation was shut down by Harold Geisel, the former acting inspector general for the State Department whose tenure was marked by accusations of political favoritism.
TheDC confirmed the May 1 meeting with both Higbie and the second whistleblower in attendance. Notes from the meeting were shared with TheDC on the condition that the whistleblower with knowledge about Clinton’s server not be named. The Oversight Committee declined to comment, saying it doesn’t comment on matters involving whistleblowers.
According to the notes, the whistleblower in question “was the case agent on a criminal investigation pertaining to Huma Abedin and outside employment/income. The investigation involved the unlawful use of the clintonemail by Abedin to conceal their activity.”
While investigating Abedin’s gig with Teneo, a firm founded by former Bill Clinton adviser Doug Band, the inspector “identified the HRC email server and its use as part of his investigation. This developed into evidence implicating HRC,” according to the notes.
The whistleblower reportedly has his own notes and recordings to back his claims and says that the evidence shows that Clinton was “criminally culpable” to some degree.
The whistleblower could not provide more information to Higbie because of the non-disclosure agreement the State Department forced him to sign, according to the notes. The inspector still works for the agency, though in a different capacity. The whistleblower is willing to share his information if subpoenaed by Congress, the notes read.
Abedin’s arrangement with Teneo has been widely criticized for its appearance of a conflict of interest.
It was reported in May 2013, months after Clinton and Abedin left their posts, that the staffer failed to report income she earned while consulting for Teneo. Abedin was granted special government employee status to work at Teneo even as she work as an aide to Clinton.
While at State, both Clinton and Abedin used Clinton’s private email account, which was hosted at the domain clintonemail.com. Hillary used two addresses, HDR22@clintonemail.com and firstname.lastname@example.org while Abedin, who is married to former New York U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, reportedly used the email address email@example.com. It is unclear how often Abedin might have used the Clinton email address. A trove of emails released last month by the State Department show that she did often use her official State Department email account, unlike Clinton.
According to the notes, the inspector told Higbie after initial reports surfaced in March about Clinton’s private server that “only half of the hard truth was out.”
Clinton’s server, which was registered to her Chappaqua, N.Y. residence, has been the subject of intense intrigue. Clinton and her team have been vague about its existence and about how it was set up. She has also refused to turn it over to both the State Department and to the House Select Committee on Benghazi. Her attorney, David Kendall, told that committee that the server has been wiped clean, though he did not specify when that occurred.
If the new whistleblower’s information pans out, it could pose a brand new headache for not just Clinton and Abedin but the State Department and its inspector general.
It was reported in April that State’s current inspector general, Steve Linick, informed Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley that his office was investigating Abedin’s past arrangement with Teneo.
In a letter to Grassley, stated that “based on my staff’s current knowledge, the OIG was not aware of Secretary Clinton’s and Ms. Abedin’s use of a private email system until recent media reports.”
Asked if former acting inspector general Geisel ever quashed an investigation into Clinton’s email server, a spokesman for the internal watchdog said that there was “no information to offer that would be responsive” to the inquiry.