Clin­ton signed deal that let Abe­din dou­ble dip on salaries

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - BY JOHN SOLOMON

Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton per­son­ally signed the con­tro­ver­sial deal in 2012 that let her top aide Huma Abe­din si­mul­ta­ne­ously work for the State Depart­ment and a pri­vate New York firm with deep ties to the Clin­ton fam­ily, ac­cord­ing to records made public last week.

The State Depart­ment emails re­leased to se­lect con­gres­sional com­mit­tees and the watchdog group Ju­di­cial Watch also show that al­most im­me­di­ately af­ter Ms. Abe­din got per­mis­sion to work in New York for the Te­neo Group, she tried to get the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to pay the cost of her com­mut­ing back and forth to Washington to serve as a se­nior ad­viser to Mrs. Clin­ton, who was then sec­re­tary of state.

“I need to come down to state to­mor­row. Can state start pay­ing for my travel since ny is now my base?” Ms. Abe­din asked in an email to a top State Depart­ment ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fi­cial on March 27, 2012, around the time her deal to be­come a spe­cial gov­ern­ment em­ployee (SGE) was struck.

Just four days ear­lier, Mrs. Clin­ton per­son­ally signed an agree­ment that let Ms. Abe­din, one of her most trusted aides, tran­si­tion from be­ing her deputy chief staff and a for­mer fed­eral em­ployee, to an SGE, the equiv­a­lent of a con­trac­tor with spe­cial priv­i­leges.

The change freed Ms. Abe­din also to work si­mul­ta­ne­ously in the pri­vate sec­tor for the Te­neo Group, a con­sult­ing firm in New York run by top Clin­ton con­fi­dant Doug Band, where for­mer Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton also col­lected a salary as a paid ad­viser.

State of­fi­cials said Thurs­day night they did not im­me­di­ately know whether Ms. Abe­din got tax­payer re­im­burse­ment for her travel costs.

Sen. Charles Grass­ley, Iowa Repub­li­can and Se­nate Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee chair­man, has been in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether Ms. Abe­din’s si­mul­ta­ne­ous work for both the State Depart­ment and Te­neo cre­ated im­proper con­flicts of in­ter­est while al­low­ing her to “dou­ble dip” on salaries.

Fed­eral in­ves­ti­ga­tors also have con­cluded that Ms. Abe­din billed for more hours than al­lowed for an SGE con­trac­tor, ac­cord­ing to in­ves­tiga­tive doc­u­ments ob­tained by The Washington Times.

Ms. Abe­din’s lawyer, Miguel Ro­driguez, has de­nied she did any­thing wrong and ac­cused Mr. Grass­ley of a po­lit­i­cal witch hunt.

He did not re­turn a call Thurs­day seek­ing com­ment from the Times.

But doc­u­ments first re­ported ear­lier this month by the Times show the State Depart­ment’s own in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tor be­lieved Ms. Abe­din might have en­gaged in em­bez­zle­ment via in­ac­cu­rate timesheets and con­cluded she was over­paid by about $10,000 in fed­eral salary.

And the new doc­u­ments fur­ther sup­port ques­tions Mr. Grass­ley has posed to the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion.

For in­stance, the sen­a­tor asked weeks ago whether Ms. Abe­din was ever re­im­bursed by taxpayers so she could travel be­tween her pri­vate job in New York and her fed­eral job in Washington.

Mr. Grass­ley also has ques­tioned whether the deal with Ms. Abe­din re­ally met the re­quire­ments for a spe­cial gov­ern­ment em­ployee sta­tus. One of those re­quire­ments is that some­one’s work as a con­trac­tor be dif­fer­ent enough from the orig­i­nal job to war­rant giv­ing the per­son con­trac­tor sta­tus.

But the doc­u­ments re­leased Thurs­day show Ms. Abe­din told State of­fi­cials she planned to do the same type of work as an SGE as she did as deputy chief of staff.

“MY NEW PO­SI­TION IS THE SAME AS MY OLD PO­SI­TION,” Ms. Abe­din wrote in all caps to a State Depart­ment col­league on June 5, 2012.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.