Indian-American Huma Abedin who worked and is still vice chairwoman for the 2016 Clinton presidential campaign to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is being probed for allegedly accepting overpayments from the State Department while working for the then US secretary of state (Huma Abedin worked as a full time staffer for Hillary Clinton from January 2009 until June 2012), media reported on Tuesday, Aug 4.
Huma Abedin, who has been at Mrs. Clinton’s side as her personal assistant since the 2008 presidential race, has come under scrutiny for pocketing a $33,000 payout from the State Department for unused leave and using her simultaneous employment inside and outside of government to “deliver favors” to Clinton cronies.
“Abedin leveraged her State Department job to benefit her two other employers at that time – the Clinton Foundation and a consulting firm called Teneo Strategies (Teneo Strategies was founded by Douglas Band, a long time aide to Bill Clinton),” claimed a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, written by senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Washington Examiner reported.
In his letter, Grassley wrote to Abedin – “The committee has learned of allegations that, during your simultaneous employment by the Department of State, Teneo, and the Clinton Foundation, you were solicited for and delivered favors for preferred individuals”. The letter added, She was given a “special government employee” designation and soon took on roles at the Clinton Foundation and Teneo.
Grassley also called into question a $33,000 payment Abedin received from the State Department for leave she had not used.
“During approximately three and a half years as a full time government employee, Ms Abedin reportedly never requested, was approved for, or had her leave balance reduced for use of any sick leave, annual leave, or administrative leave,” he said in the letter.
A federal judge last week ordered her and another top Clinton aide at the State Department, Cheryl Mills, to attest, under penalty of perjury, that they had turned over all official email in their possession.The order followed a revelation that Ms. Abedin and Ms. Mills used a private email account for official business, just like their boss, whose secretive email setup with private accounts hosted on a server in Mrs. Clinton’s home in New York has raised questions about her skirting open-records laws and mishandling classified information.Ms. Abedin, 39, holds the title of vice chairwoman for the 2016 Clinton presidential campaign, but she continues to serve as Mrs. Clinton’s “girl Friday.” She was captured on surveillance video alongside Mrs. Clinton when the former first lady, senator and top diplomat went unnoticed ordering a burrito bowl at a Chipotle restaurant in Ohio on the first road trip for the campaign.
The Clinton campaign refused to comment on the increased focus on Ms. Abedin.
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Ms. Abedin’s attorney, Karen L. Dunn, called the inspector general’s report “fundamentally flawed.”
“Huma Abedin is widely known as one of the hardest working and most dedicated public servants over the nearly two decades she served,” she said in a statement.
“The Inspector General’s report is fundamentally flawed, including contradicting its own conclusion by finding that Huma — a woman who regularly worked 16-20 hour days — also worked hard while on maternity leave,” she said. “No hardworking, dedicated public servant should be subjected to such irresponsible allegations based on a fundamentally flawed report — and it is appropriate that the State Department is now reviewing the IG’s report. Huma has been nothing but cooperative in helping the Department work through its record keeping issues, and she will continue to do so in the hope the right thing is done.”
Mr. Grassley also said the auditor’s finding found evidence that Ms. Abedin’s overlapping employment inside and outside government created conflicts of interest and special treatment for people with connections to Teneo and the Clinton Foundation.