August 19, 2013

NYT: Clinton Stonewalling On Special Role For Top Aide

The New York Times reports that despite repeated requests over months, top Clinton aide Huma Abedin refuses to disclose any information regarding how she was made a “Special Government Employee,” allowed to consult for private clients while still a top aide to the Secretary of State. It adds that “the State Department has declined to say what role Mrs. Clinton played in approving the arrangement”: image

When news surfaced in May that the State Department had approved an arrangement that allowed Huma Abedin, a top adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, to take on work for private clients, officials at the department described it as nothing unusual.

But three months later, questions about the arrangement persist, and the department has declined to provide some basic information about Ms. Abedin’s situation and those of other State Department employees who may have been given similar status. 

Ms. Abedin, 37, a confidante of Mrs. Clinton’s, was made a “special government employee” in June 2012. That allowed her to continue her employment at State but also work for Teneo, a consulting firm, founded in part by a former aide to President Bill Clinton, that has a number of corporate clients, including Coca-Cola. In addition, Ms. Abedin worked privately for the Clinton Foundation and for Mrs. Clinton personally.

The arrangement set off concern among some government watchdog groups and a senior Republican in Congress, who questioned whether a person in a sensitive State Department position should be working for clients in the private sector at the same time. 

The State Department has declined to say what role Mrs. Clinton played in approving the arrangement.

Ms. Abedin has not disclosed how much she was paid by Teneo, the Clinton Foundation or Mrs. Clinton during this period. She resigned from State on Feb. 1.