Judicial Watch files suit, seeks Huma’s Records

In June of 2012, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Huma Abedin, returned from maternity leave and quickly began work as a Special Government Employee (SGE) while remaining on with the State Department. One year later, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s ranking member – Charles Grassley (R-IA) – wanted answers about this potential conflict of interest.

Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch.

Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch.

Those answers were not forthcoming, despite a letter from State Department Attorney Thomas Gibbons with an attached letter to him from Abedin. In fact, what information was provided by Abedin may have implicated her in the commission of criminal activity.

It’s now been revealed that Judicial Watch – a persistent Government Watchdog group – has filed suit against the State Department to get access to the records about Abedin’s seemingly special arrangement that included concerns about conflicts of interest.

Via Judicial Watch:

Judicial Watch announced today that on September 5, 2013, it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Obama Department of State seeking access to all records detailing contracts between the State Department and Abedin, as well as the Clinton aide’s outside employment while under contract with the agency (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)).

Pursuant to its May 21, 2013, 2011, FOIA request, Judicial Watch seeks access to the following records:

1) Any and all SF-50 (Notification of Personnel Actions forms for Ms. Huma Abedin.

2) Any and all contracts (including, but not limited to, personnel service contracts) between the Department of State and Ms. Huma Abedin.

3) Any and all records regarding, concerning, or related to the authorization for Ms. Huma Abedin to represent individual clients and/or otherwise engage in outside employment while employed by and/or engaged in a contractual arrangement with the Department of State.

Two of the entities Abedin allegedly did work for upon becoming an SGE included the Clinton Foundation and Teneo. Via the Daily Mail:

Those included the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation and Teneo, a consulting firm co-founded by former Bill Clinton consigliere Douglas Band. The former president also sits on the company’s board of directors. {emphasis ours}

As we have reported, at the time Abedin entered into this agreement, two things had happened over the previous year which had brought her unwanted attention. The first was her husband’s sexting scandal. The second was her familial connections to the Muslim Brotherhood, though this did not garner much wider attention until Rep. Michele Bachmann identified these connections in a letter to the State Department on June 13, 2012, the same month Abedin became an SGE.

In a very thorough September 22nd article by Alec Macgillis at the New Republic, we get some insight as to why Abedin may have found cover at Teneo upon returning from maternity leave in June of 2012:

Band had a key ally on Hillary’s team: Huma Abedin. Bill’s body man and Hillary’s body woman had bonded over their loyalty to their bosses. They were known to show up at parties together, which some saw as an endearing big brother-little sister dynamic, and which others interpreted as evidence that Abedin had a crush on Band. They also had an ingenious method of collecting intelligence on each other’s behalf. Abedin would sidle up to someone in Bill’s camp and, in a confiding tone, make a disparaging remark about Band. If it was reciprocated, she would relay the criticisms to Band and he would do the same for her, says someone who fell for this technique. “They had each other’s back a lot,” says the former White House colleague. {emphasis ours}

Macgillis had the following to say about Band:

He is rarely written about, almost never quoted, and many Clinton associates are loath to discuss him on the record. “Doug is taboo—no one touches the guy,” says one person who has had extensive dealings with him.

As was the case with Band, it’s clear that Abedin didn’t want to be in the public eye either. Indications are that Abedin became an SGE – at least in part – to both collect a paycheck and escape that public eye. It’s clear that there are serious questions about both her time as an SGE, which appears to exceed that allowed by law, and the potential for conflicts of interest.

It’s also interesting that if Band was involved in helping Huma out of a jam, both may be brought further into the spotlight.


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