On one of the rare occasions the enigmatic Hillary Clinton decided to sit down for an interview a few weeks ago, she was asked about criticism of the very, very, very special work arrangement for her top aide, Huma Abedin. Abedin was allowed to collect paychecks from the government and two additional private concerns linked to the Clintons… under a rule normally invoked to get top scientists and industrial geniuses to work for Uncle Sam without giving up lucrative private jobs.
“Well, you know, I was not directly involved in that,” Clinton told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell.
“But everything that she did was approved, under the rules, as they existed, by the State Department,” she insisted.
The second part of her assertion is highly debatable. The State Department investigated Abedin’s activities and referred the case to the Justice Department. But it mysteriously decided not to pursue the investigation any further, for no reason anyone felt like elaborating on.
But the first part of Hillary Clinton’s statement on Human Abedin’s work arrangements — “I was not directly involved in that” — is very difficult to sustain, in the face of new documents uncovered by Judicial Watch.
The group just released copies of documents it procured with a Freedom of Information Act request, dated March 23, which approve Abedin’s change to “Special Government Employee” status.
Those documents are signed by one Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State. That’s a very direct involvement.
How do you suppose Team Clinton would spin this one away? Claim she had a micro-stroke and forgot she signed off on SGE status for her top aide? Declare some impostor forged Madame Secretary’s signature on the paperwork?
Nope, they settled for claiming that the alleged Smartest Woman in the World and top presidential contender doesn’t know what “Special Government Employee” means. She supposedly thought she was just signing off on a trivial change to Abedin’s formal title.
That’s setting the bar very, very low for a potential President of the United States.
The Politico article that reveals Clinton’s excuse also relates the latest exciting conflict-of-interest developments in the Clinton saga, specifically one of Abedin’s future private employers, former Bill Clinton aide Doug Band of Teneo, asking for her help with getting a plum government job for one of his clients.
“In the email, he made sure Abedin knew that the woman, Judith Rodin, president of The Rockefeller Foundation, was also a big supporter of the Clinton Foundation – another place Abedin would collect a paycheck after her SGE status was approved,” Politico writes.
Rodin didn’t get the job, but Senate Judiciary chairman Chuck Grassley described this email exchange as a “troubling example of Teneo and the Clinton Foundation seeking State Department help for a Teneo client and Clinton Foundation supporter.” He called upon State to release all of Abedin’s other correspondence to determine if other such requests were made, and if so, how they were handled.
Abedin has always looked like a good candidate for a fall gal to protect Clinton from the consequences of mishandling classified and Top Secret information… a possibility that gathered steam on Thursday with the New York Times wondering if her aides caused all the trouble by sending such material to Clinton’s secret, insecure mail server.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has also been asking tough questions about her unusual work arrangement, and her implausible assertion that she never actually took any worktime off, not even when she went on vacation. It should also be noted that contrary to Clinton’s assertion, Abedin did not obtain proper approval for the vacation she took without using her time off. When she was asked why she filed her timecards improperly, and collected a $33,000 payout for “unused vacation time” she wasn’t technically entitled to, she claimed she made a few mistakes, and that her husband, disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner, “handles all the finances in our household.”
Under U.S. law, Clinton is still responsible for creating the security breach, but the law doesn’t mean much where Democrat royalty is concerned.
So maybe an aide or two — Huma Abedin, Paging Huma Abedin — can take the heat, serve the time and get the would-be president off the hook.