One of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s most trusted advisers and former deputy chief of staff, Huma Abedin–the wife of disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner–is under fire from Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) for possible influence peddling as part of a six-figure crony consulting contract she secured while serving as a top official at the State Department.
The New York Post says in the wake of the Anthony Weiner’s sexting scandal the former congressman and Abedin bagged as much as $350,000 in outside income above Abedin’s $135,000 salary. Last month, Abedin became a special government employee which permitted her to work as a private contractor making deals on the side.
The Post reports that one of Abedin’s consulting clients while on the government payroll was Teneo Holdings, a company founded by longtime Bill Clinton aide Doug Band.
In a three-page inquiry letter obtained by Politico, Grassley says that Abedin’s dual status “blurs the line between public- and private-sector employees, especially when employees receive full-time salaries for what appears to be part-time work.”
Grassley’s letter to Secretary of State John Kerry and Abedin asked: “Who authorized the change in status in your official title?” and “Who was made aware of the change in status?”
According to the Post, a source close to Abedin said she disclosed working for Hillary Clinton “‘to allow Huma to begin planning for [Clinton’s] activities post-State,’ as well as for the Clinton Foundation and Teneo Holdings.”
Grassley has come down hard on the emerging “political intelligence” industry wherein companies scour government agencies for tidbits of political information with potential market-moving implications and sell them to investment houses. The Iowa Senator suggested Abedin may have been providing her clients with “political intelligence,” a claim that the Post’s source says is false.
Teneo’s website bills itself as the “next chapter in strategic advisory.” One of Teneo’s former clients is Jon Corzine’s now-defunct MF Global that vaporized over a billion dollars of customer cash.
How Abedin obtained her consulting deal for the Clinton Foundation–and whether she helped raise money for the Foundation–is presently unclear.