A nonprofit government watchdog group asked the Department of State Inspector General Tuesday to investigate “whether any laws were violated” when the agency awarded more than $9 million to a charity run by Secretary of State John Kerry’s daughter.
The request was prompted by the exclusive reporting of The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“Not only does the family relationship clearly indicate preferential treatment, but so do the unusual details surrounding the payments,” Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust Executive Director Matthew Whitaker wrote in a complaint to IG Steve Linick. “[I]t was done without competition and over a longer period of time then allowed.”
A former U.S. attorney, Whitaker asked Linick to launch “a full investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding these apparent unethical acts and a determination of whether any laws were violated.”
Kerry’s daughter, Dr. Vanessa Kerry, arranged with the Department of State and Peace Corps officials to funnel $9 million to her nonprofit, Seed Global Health, TheDCNF previously revealed. The State Department gave the money to the Peace Corps, which was then awarded to Seed through non-competitive contracts.
Seed was even given an extension and a bonus, even though it failed to meet the original contract’s terms. John Kerry announced the extension and bragged about the Peace Corps’ partnership with his daughter’s nonprofit.
“This type of governmental action is precisely the type of behavior the ethics rules are designed to protect against and can only lead to distrust in our government officials,” Whitaker wrote in his letter, which was first reported by The Hill. “Essentially, a government employee is prohibited from acting to benefit an individual based upon a personal relationship, including any actions that create even an appearance of ethical violations.”
Both agencies and Seed have denied any conflicts of interest, even though Vanessa Kerry’s nonprofit was founded at her father’s home.
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