Sen. Chuck Grassley has written two letters to the State Dept. concerning a special arrangement for Huma Abedin, Hillary’s closest adviser. At the same time Abedin worked for the State Dept., she also worked for a company called Teneo. For those of you who don’t know it, Teneo bills itself as an expert in helping your company get government contracts. Can you see the obvious conflict of interest here? The Senate is trying to find out if Teneo’s clients received government grants and if they did, if Abedin and or Hillary was involved? Abedin also had a private email account that ran off Hillary’s server.
Here are the highlights of Grassley’s correspondence:
“I am writing to follow up on inquiries I have been making since June 13, 2013 and August 15, 2013 regarding the State Department’s use of Special Government Employee (SGE) designations, and in particular, what steps the Department took to ensure that Ms. Huma Abedin’s outside employment with a political intelligence and corporate advisory firm did not conflict with her simultaneous employment at the State Department. I thank the Department for its responses to my inquiries made June 13, 2013 and August 15, 2013. However, to date, the Department’s answers have been largely unresponsive.”
By way of example, I have still not received the records relating to communications between the State Department and Ms. Abedin’s other employer, Teneo. Nor has the Department provided records of communications between the State Department and any clients or entities represented by Teneo. The Department has also failed to provide any email communications between Ms. Abedin and Teneo or Teneo’s clients. The State Department’s November 14, 2014 response to my inquiries, stated, “Based on an internal review, the Department has never had any contracts with Teneo.” But that is not responsive to my request, and it does not mean that communications between full-time Department employees, or SGEs, and Teneo, or clients of Teneo, do not exist.
Here is a list of 20 pieces of evidence Grassley is asking for:
1. What steps has the State Department taken to comply with my June 13, 2013 request?
2. Please provide the names of all current or former State Department employees within the Secretary’s office who used, or continue to use, private e-mail addresses to conduct State Department business.
3. Please provide the names of all current or former State Department employees who used, or continue to use, private e-mail addresses on Secretary Clinton’s non-government email server.
4. How will the State Department ensure that all of the individuals referenced in the answers to questions 2 and 3 above provide all their contacts with Teneo or with clients of Teneo? Please provide the detailed steps that the State Department will take to ensure compliance.
5. Ms. Abedin’s simultaneous employment with Teneo, a private company, and the State Department raises serious ethics and conflicts concerns. Did Ms. Abedin conduct Teneo business through her non-government e-mail account reportedly on Secretary Clinton’s personal server?
6. The State Department’s July 17, 2013 response states that Ms. Abedin required a security clearance for her work. Can the Department verify that she did not send or receive any classified information via the non-government e-mail account she reportedly used on Secretary Clinton’s personal server? If so, please explain how.
7. In Ms. Abedin’s July 5, 2013 letter she stated that she was specifically tasked with supervising the “Secretary’s schedule and travel.” Was planning Secretary Clinton’s travel performed on a non-government email account?
8. Did Secretary Clinton prepare an inventory of unclassified papers and nonrecord materials to the State Department prior to departure? Did Ms. Abedin do the same?
9. Did Secretary Clinton prepare an inventory of classified papers and materials to the State Department prior to departure? Did Ms. Abedin do the same?
10. Did Secretary Clinton request a review of any materials proposed for removal? Did Ms. Abedin do the same?
11. Did a State Department official review the entirety of Secretary Clinton’s email server prior to Secretary Clinton deleting any emails?
12. Did Ms. Abedin delete any work-related emails from Secretary Clinton’s server?
13. Did a State Department official notify Secretary Clinton regarding her obligations to preserve written and typed material? Was such a notice provided to Ms. Abedin?
14. Were the unclassified documents authorized to be removed from Secretary Clinton’s personal server by the State Department? If so, please provide the authorizing document and name of authorizing official(s).
15. State Department spokesperson Jennifer Psaki was recently asked whether Secretary Clinton signed a separation statement acknowledging proper surrender of classified and unclassified material to State Department officials as required by the State Department Records Management manual to which she stated, “We are fairly certain that she didn’t [sign the form] or we would have record of it,” and Ms. Psaki also noted that recent secretaries of state have not signed the form either. Can you confirm that Secretary Clinton, and previous secretaries of state, did not sign a separation statement? If so, why have they not been required to do so? Did Ms. Abedin sign such a statement? If so, please provide a copy. If not, why was she not required to do so?
16. Please provide records of all communications by State Department SGEs who have used private e-mail addresses from 2005 to the present.
17. Did the Department consider any other candidates besides Ms. Abedin for the expert position requiring expert knowledge on policy, administrative, and other matters? If so, please provide the supporting documentation. If not, why not?
18. Please provide any other instances in which a State Department employee converted from a regular, full-time position to an SGE, and subsequently became employed by a private company.
19. Please provide the work papers, background documents, and/or emails that concluded that Ms. Abedin’s employment as an SGE did not present any ethical concerns or conflicts of interest with her multiple private sector jobs.
20. Was Ms. Abedin reminded before her departure from government employment about her obligations in preserving her email communications and records? If so, please identify the persons who did so and the supporting documentation.
Courtesy of Red Statements.
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