Abe­din blames hus­band Weiner for not notic­ing ex­tra $30,000

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - BY JOHN SOLOMON

Fed­eral in­ves­ti­ga­tors for­mally in­ves­ti­gated top Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton aide Huma Abe­din for the crime of em­bez­zle­ment af­ter con­firm­ing she took a “Baby­moon” va­ca­tion and ma­ter­nity time at the State Depart­ment with­out ex­pend­ing her for­mal leave, re­sult­ing in thou­sands of dol­lars of pay she wasn’t en­ti­tled to re­ceive, The Washington Times has learned.

The probe also gath­ered ev­i­dence she filed time sheets charg­ing the gov­ern­ment for im­per­mis­si­ble overtime and ex­ces­sive hours af­ter she con­verted from a full-time fed­eral em­ployee to a State Depart­ment con­trac­tor.

Those time­cards were filed dur­ing a pe­riod that re­mains un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion over ques­tions about pos­si­ble con­flicts of in­ter­est, doc­u­ments gath­ered by the State Depart­ment in­spec­tor gen­eral show.

Ms. Abe­din, who served as a deputy chief of staff to Mrs. Clin­ton from 2009 to late 2012, told in­ves­ti­ga­tors she hadn’t no­ticed she had re­ceived a $33,000 lump sum pay­ment — about a third of which in­ves­ti­ga­tors de­ter­mined was im­proper — when she left the State Depart­ment.

She sug­gested her hus­band, the dis­graced for­mer con­gress­man An­thony Weiner, failed to let her know.

“My hus­band han­dles all the fi­nances in our house­hold,” she told in­ves­ti­ga­tors dur­ing a recorded in­ter­view in Oc­to­ber 2014.

She said she only learned of the pay­ment af­ter be­ing con­tacted by in­ves­ti­ga­tors two years af­ter her de­par­ture. “I did ask my hus­band to look up our bank state­ments, and we did have a de­posit,” she said dur­ing her in­ter­view.

She also ac­knowl­edged it was likely she did not fill out the re­quired form when she went on a two-week va­ca­tion to Europe in 2011 while she was preg­nant — a trip she called a “Baby­moon” in emails and her in­ter­view.

The fail­ure to file the form re­sulted in her hav­ing ex­ces­sive va­ca­tion time cashed out to her in the lump pay­ment upon leav­ing gov­ern­ment, in­ves­ti­ga­tors con­cluded.

“You are 100 per­cent right on the Baby­moon. I don’t re­call. One hun­dred per­cent right. I don’t re­call fill­ing out any pa­per­work say­ing I was tak­ing leave,” she told the in­ves­ti­ga­tors. “I’m not even go­ing to blame it on my preg­nancy brain.”

The State Depart­ment’s in­spec­tor gen­eral for­mally con­cluded that Ms. Abe­din failed to cor­rectly sub­mit mul­ti­ple re­quired time sheet and leave forms cov­er­ing her va­ca­tion and ma­ter­nity leave, re­sult­ing in an over­pay­ment of $10,674.32 that she wasn’t en­ti­tled to re­ceive when she left her job.

The Abe­din in­ves­ti­ga­tion’s ex­is­tence has been known for weeks, but the con­tents and find­ings have never been pub­licly re­leased.

Sen. Chuck Grass­ley, Iowa Repub­li­can and chair­man of the Se­nate Com­mit­tee on the Ju­di­ciary, has re­peat­edly ques­tioned Ms. Abe­din’s com­pen­sa­tion and work ar­range­ments un­der Mrs. Clin­ton, sug­gest­ing she was over­paid and may have en­gaged in con­flicts of in­ter­est when she worked both for State as a con­trac­tor and a firm in New York con­nected to friends of the Clin­ton fam­ily.

Charges of smear job

Ms. Abe­din’s lawyer, Miguel Ro­driguez, has ac­cused the sen­a­tor of a smear job in sug­gest­ing there was any crim­i­nal­ity.

The doc­u­ments pro­vided to The Times by a source out­side the Se­nate or the IG’s of­fice make clear, how­ever, the in­quiry was clearly crim­i­nal in na­ture and ul­ti­mately re­ferred to fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors.

Mr. Ro­driguez did not im­me­di­ately re­turn a call seek­ing com­ment from The Times on Wed­nes­day.

How­ever, he sent a let­ter to the OIG dis­put­ing its con­clu­sions, say­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tors should have cred­ited Ms. Abe­din for the time she worked while off rather than de­mand she re­pay the money.

“I am deeply trou­bled by gaps in the

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS PHOT­GRAPHS

Huma Abe­din, aide to for­mer Sec­re­tary of State Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton, is un­der for­mal in­ves­ti­ga­tion for al­leged mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion of tax­payer funds she took dur­ing var­i­ous leaves from work and while work­ing as a pri­vate con­trac­tor.

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