The New York Post adds detail to one of the scandals mentioned in yesterday’s CBS report in the series of scandals involving Hillary Clinton’s State Department. John wrote about the CBS report here. Now the Post reports:
A State Department whistleblower has accused high-ranking staff of a massive coverup — including keeping a lid on findings that members of then-Secretary Hillary Clinton’s security detail and the Belgian ambassador solicited prostitutes.
A chief investigator for the agency’s inspector general wrote a memo outlining eight cases that were derailed by senior officials, including one instance of interference by Clinton’s chief of staff, Cheryl Mills.
Any mention of the cases was removed from an IG report about problems within the Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS), which provides protection and investigates crimes involving any State Department workers overseas.
“It’s a coverup,” declared Cary Schulman, a lawyer representing the whistleblower, former State Department IG senior investigator Aurelia Fedenisn. “The whole agency is impaired.”
“Undue influence . . . is coming from political appointees. It’s coming from above the criminal- investigation unit,” added Schulman, whose client provided the document with the revelations.
Along with the graphic above left, the Post proceeds to name names per the memo:
Among the bombshell findings:
*A DS agent was called off a case against US Ambassador to Belgium Howard Gutman over claims that he solicited prostitutes, including minors.
“The agent began his investigation and had determined that the ambassador routinely ditched his protective security detail in order to solicit sexual favors from both prostitutes and minor children,” says the memo.
“The ambassador’s protective detail and the embassy’s surveillance detection team . . . were well aware of the behavior.”
Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy ordered the investigation ceased, and the ambassador remains in place, according to the memo.
Gutman was a big Democratic donor before taking the post, having raised $500,000 for President Obama’s 2008 campaign and helping finance his inaugural.
The story seems to me something of a blockbuster that is getting drowned out in the current Obama administration scandalpalooza. NBC reports that the State Department has responded to the CBS story. This is the reported response:
A state department spokesperson would not confirm the specific investigations, but told NBC News “the notion that we would not vigorously pursue criminal misconduct in a case, in any case, is preposterous.”
That isn’t much of a “response.” Indeed, I believe it is what they call in the business a non-denial denial.
UPDATE: John Hudson has more at The Cable/Foreign Policy, including these denials from Gutman and Kennedy, respectively:
Gutman denied the allegations, in a statement to The Cable and other outlets.
“I am angered and saddened by the baseless allegations that have appeared in the press and to watch the four years I have proudly served in Belgium smeared is devastating,” he said. “At no point have I ever engaged in any improper activity.”
Kennedy, in a statement to The Cable, denied allegations that he inhibited the State Department investigation.
“The Foreign Service has been my life for over forty years and through several Secretaries of State,” he said. “I have always acted to honor the brave men and women I serve, while also holding accountable anyone guilty of wrongdoing. In my current position, it is my responsibility to make sure the Department and all of our employees-no matter their rank-are held to the highest standard, and I have never once interfered, nor would I condone interfering, in any investigation.”
MORE: ABC News has more. At NRO, Joseph Schmitz focuses on the absence of a duly nominated Inspector General at State.
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