The State Department’s inspector general completed an investigation of “potential criminal conduct” earlier this year involving tens of thousands of dollars in “unused” leave payments made to Huma Abedin, the top State Department aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to Senate Judiciary chairman Chuck Grassley.
The Iowa Republican sent letters Thursday to Abedin, Sec. of State John Kerry, and State inspector general Steve Linick inquiring further about that investigation. He also asked about another finding that Abedin gave special treatment to a Clinton Foundation donor and client of the Clinton-connected consulting firm, Teneo Holdings.
Teneo was founded in 2011 by Douglas Band, a close ally of the Clintons. Abedin began working for the firm in June 2012 after she was awarded a special government employee (SGE) exemption that allowed her to continue working at State.
According to Grassley, State’s office of the inspector general found that Abedin did not document taking any vacation or sick leave during her tenure at State, which stretched from January 2009 to February 2013. Abedin was paid $33,000 for all of her “unused” leave, Grassley said. But she shouldn’t have been paid for that full amount because she went on vacation multiple times and used leave for other reasons, according to Grassley.
“If these allegations are true, then it raises questions for you and your Department supervisors about why you were paid the cash value of leave taken but not reported and whether you were entitled to such a payment,” Grassley wrote to Abedin and her attorneys.
According to The Washington Post, the IG found that Abedin was overpaid nearly $10,000. She is also appealing the finding and recently sent the IG a 12-page response, The Post reported.
Grassley also pressed Abedin and Kerry about 7,300 emails she maintained on her State Department account referring to Teneo’s Douglas Band. In one email, Band allegedly asked Abedin to “reach out to then-Secretary Clinton to encourage President Obama to appoint Ms. Judith Rodin to a White House position,” Grassley wrote.
Rodin was a Teneo Holdings client and the president of the Rockefeller Foundation, which, according to Grassley, “donated hundreds of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation, a fact which Mr. Band allegedly noted in his email to Ms. Abedin.”
Abedin allegedly forwarded the email from Band from her State Department email account to her “nongovernmental email address located on Secretary Clinton’s non-government server,” Grassley stated.
“SGEs cannot abuse their inside position for the benefit of private persons and SGEs cannot participate personally and substantially in a particular matter that has a direct and predictable effect on not only their own financial interests but the interests of others,” Grassley wrote in his letter to Kerry.
Grassley noted that the Judiciary Committee had requested Abedin’s records two years ago but that the State Department has so far failed to turn them over. He also notes that The Associated Press made a similar request in August 2013.
In his correspondence, Grassley asserted that Abedin may have used her private email account — which was hosted on Clinton’s private email server — to avoid detection from his committee and others.
The committee “has learned that the OIG had reason to believe that e-mail evidence relevant to that inquiry was contained in e-mails Ms. Abedin sent and received from her account on Secretary Clinton’s non-government server, making them unavailable to the OIG through its normal statutory right of access to records,” Grassley wrote.
In his letter to Abedin and her attorneys, Grassley asked for all records related to her leave requests. He also asked her to turn over all records of emails she forwarded from her State Department account to her clintonemail.com account. In the letter to Kerry, Grassley requested Abedin’s leave records as well as any records related to the IG investigation. Grassley also asked Linick for all records related to the IG investigation into Abedin’s activities.
[h/t The Washington Examiner]