August 27, 2015

New Report: Close Clinton Aide Worked In Conflicting Roles In Clinton State Department

A new report from The Washington Post highlights new documents obtained by Citizens United that show the blurred lines between Clinton‘s State Department, the Clinton Foundation, and Clinton-tied consulting firm Teneo Holdings.

In one example, Abedin sent an invitation to individuals from Teneo and donors to the Clinton Foundation to have dinner with then-Secretary Clinton in Dublin, Ireland, during what was her last official international trip as Secretary of State:

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 organizations — an arrangement allowed by a special government designation she held permitting outside employment. And each job had a connection to the Dublin dinner.

The invitation was sent from Abedin’s State Department account as Clinton planned for an official trip in her role as secretary. The dinner itself was attended by the chief executive of the private consulting firm Teneo, which has close ties to the Clintons and employed Abedin as an adviser. Seated around the tables were donors to Clinton’s campaigns as well as to the Clinton Foundation, where Abedin was a contractor preparing for Clinton’s eventual transition to the charity. And Clinton, who was also paying Abedin out of personal funds to prepare for Clinton’s transition into private life, showed up for about an hour.

In another example, Abedin met with Ken Miller, who emailed her on her State Department email account, while he was evidently deciding whether or not to join Teneo:

For instance, in a July 2012 e-mail exchange, the assistant to New York banking executive Ken Miller wrote to Abedin on her State Department e-mail account that Miller “has been in talks with Teneo” and that he “would appreciate your input on a decision he’s considering.”

Over e-mail, Abedin agreed to meet Miller at New York’s Harvard Club. He ultimately accepted the job.

These examples further expose the complicated web of ties between Clinton’s State Department, the Clinton Foundation, and Teneo Holdings, and raise questions about the conflicts-of-interest that existed then and would again in a potential Clinton White House.