Hillary Clinton’s trusted aide Huma Abedin was in the news earlier this month when it was alleged that she was overpaid while working at the State Department.
A new report from Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger of the Washington Post sheds some light on how such a thing could happen. Abedin was working multiple jobs while at the State Department:
How Huma Abedin operated at the center of the Clinton universe
As Hillary Rodham Clinton was preparing for her farewell international trip as secretary of state, her close aide and confidante Huma Abedin e-mailed a small number of longtime political allies to help arrange an intimate get-together at a private club in Dublin.
“Maybe we can all gather for drinks/dinner and HRC can come join for as long as she can?” Abedin wrote.
The December 2012 event showcased the unique position that Abedin occupied at the apex of the Clintons’ public and private worlds during the final six months of Hillary Clinton’s tenure heading the State Department.
At the time, Abedin held four jobs with four different employers — an arrangement allowed by a special government designation she held permitting outside employment. And each job had a connection to the Dublin dinner.
The problem here is that no one seems to know when Abedin was working for the State Department, i.e. the taxpayers, or one of her other employers.
New interviews and documents, including the e-mails about the Ireland dinner, provide additional details about some of Abedin’s activities during those months and how her overlapping roles make it difficult to determine when she was working for the public and when her work was benefiting a private interest. Now, Abedin’s work during that time is becoming a central element in several controversies dogging Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa has been one of Abedin’s fiercest critics:
In letters sent Wednesday to Abedin and the State Department, Grassley indicated that he, too, has been provided copies of the records by the State Department. He wrote that the e-mails raised “fundamental questions” about Abedin’s employment. “How can the taxpayer know who exactly you are working for at any given moment?” Grassley wrote to Abedin.
This recent report from CNN provides some background:
Abedin has lashed out at Grassley for questioning her. The Hill reported:
Top Clinton aide: GOP senator ‘tarnished’ my reputation
The lawyer for a top aide to Hillary Clinton is accusing Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) of making “unfounded allegations” about her employment situation while at the Department of State…
“We are deeply concerned that Chairman Grassley’s letter has unfairly tarnished Ms. Abedin’s reputation by making unsubstantiated allegations that appear to flow from misinformation that Chairman Grassley has been provided by an unnamed — and apparently unreliable — source,” Rodriguez wrote, according to the Times.
“No staffer — indeed, nobody at all — should be subject to such unfounded attacks based on ill-informed leaks, much less someone who has made countless personal sacrifices in distinguished service to the country she loves,” he added.
A spokeswoman for Grassley said that the senator was merely trying to obtain information from the “largely unresponsive” State Department.
Any further investigations of Huma Abedin’s emails will likely be impossible.
The State Department claims her blackberry was destroyed.
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