Tags: Hillary Clinton | charles grassley | senate | probe | hillary clinton | state | department

Sen. Grassley Pushes for Further Probe Into Hillary State Dept.

By    |   Monday, 09 Mar 2015 06:12 PM

Senate Judiciary Committee head Sen. Charles Grassley is renewing his demand for the State Department to hand over information about a program that let Hillary Clinton aide and confidante Huma Abedin and others work for the government while hanging onto lucrative private-sector jobs.

It will be the second inquiry into the presumptive Democratic presidential front-runner; Clinton's already facing a probe by a House committee that wants to pore over her emails related to the 2012 deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya,
The Washington Post reports.

According to the Post, State Department records show a half-dozen of Clinton’s political allies were granted the special designation during her tenure, though not all of them are collecting government salaries.

Critics point out the program could give private-sector firms an unfair inside track to government data, the Post points out.

Representatives of both Clinton and the State Department say her use of the program was legit. Asked to respond directly to Grassley’s concerns Clinton may have misused the program, Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill told the Post in an email: "With all due respect, we disagree."

Since nobody seems to know how widely the program is used in government, the Iowa lawmaker last year asked the Government Accountability Office to conduct a review, the Post reports. In the meantime, Grassley now is focusing on Clinton and people who got the special designation under her leadership, the Post reports.

"The public’s business ought to be public with few exceptions," the Iowa Republican said in a statement Saturday, the Post reports. "When employees are allowed to serve the government and the private sector at the same time and use private email, the employees have access to everything and the public, nothing."

Questions about Clinton’s use of the special program were first raised in 2013, when it became public that Abedin was being paid by the State Department while also working for an international consulting firm with close ties to Bill and Hillary Clinton.

According to Investors' Business Daily, Abedin made $135,000 a year as Clinton's deputy, a period in which she is reported to have raked in as much as $355,000 from consulting contracts.

Others who got the special status included a former campaign manager, a longtime legal and personal adviser, a former House member now affiliated with a group backing a Clinton presidential bid, a former pollster and others who have supported the Clintons in their political and philanthropic organizations, the Post reports.

State Department officials and some who'd obtained the special status told the Post the designation has no relationship to Hillary Clinton’s political ambitions.

Abedin said she left Washington and full-time employment in 2012 after giving birth to a son with her husband, former New York Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner, who left Congress —  and a race for New York City mayor —  over a sexting scandal.

She said in a 2013 letter to the State Department later forwarded to Grassley’s committee that she asked for the special status after deciding "to spend the bulk of my time in New York City where my family lived" – and that the change was approved by State Department legal staff.

"I also was not asked, nor did I provide, insights about the department, my work with the Secretary or any government information to which I may have had access," she wrote.

The Post points out it's not the first time Clinton's been criticized for her use of the program; as first lady in the early 1990s, she used the program to hire members of a presidential task force on health-care reform that she chaired.

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Senate Judiciary committee head Sen. Charles Grassley is renewing his demand for the State Department to hand over information about a program that let Hillary Clinton aide and confidante Huma Abedin and others work for the government while hanging onto lucrative private-sector jobs.
charles grassley, senate, probe, hillary clinton, state, department, huma abedin
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2015-12-09
Monday, 09 Mar 2015 06:12 PM
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