Abedin flouted financial disclosure requirements; Hillary approved her sweetheart deal anyway

We’ve written before about Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s protege and trusted adviser. In 2012, Abedin, then Clinton’s deputy chief-of-staff, received a sweetheart deal from the State Department whereby she became a special government employee (SGE). As such, she could double-dip — working as a consultant to outside clients while continuing as a top adviser at State.

Abedin took advantage of this arrangement to work as a consultant for clients such as Teneo, a strategic consulting firm co-founded by former Bill Clinton counselor Doug Band. According to Fox News, Abedin earned $355,000 as a consultant to Teneo, in addition to her $135,000 SGE compensation. The New York Times says “it is not clear how much Ms. Abedin was paid by Mrs. Clinton privately, or from the Clinton Foundation and Teneo.”

Teneo describes its activities as providing “the leaders of the world’s most respected companies, nonprofit institutions and governments with a full suite of advisory solutions.” In this post, we discussed some, though not all, of the potential conflict of interest problems raised by Abedin’s dual employment. Politico and the New York Times have also taken up the subject.

Now, documents obtained by the invaluable Judicial Watch from the State Department (via a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit) show that Abedin shouldn’t have been approved as a special government employee. The documents include an email from the agency’s top financial disclosure official revealing that Abedin failed to produce important financial transaction records of her husband, former Rep. Anthony Weiner (yes, that guy), as required by law before obtaining her position as a SGE.

On June 5, 2012, Sarah Taylor, the State Department’s Financial Disclosures Chief, sent the following email to Heather Samuelson and Marcela Green of the State Department’s Financial Disclosures Division concerning Abedin’s failure to complete the OGE 278 form with the subject line “RE: disclosure questions:”

[Abedin’s] termination report is Incomplete, Schedule B, Part I and II were left blank. Schedule C, Part II was left blank. I hope she provided all of her spouse’s assets.

Marcella I believe told him, either Huma or her husband called her yesterday indicating there were more assets. The documents I have do not have the income information, only the value information.

What was her date of termination? She needs to be aware her termination report will be going up on a DOS website for the public to view and it must be accurate.

This email came two days after Abedin had already received SGE status. Documents previously obtained by Judicial Watch show that Hillary Clinton personally signed the authorization giving Abedin that status.

The State Department has represented that it has given Judicial Watch all the documents it has pertaining to Abedin’s employment. If true, then Abedin obtained her “special” job despite her refusal to provide basic financial information that he was required to furnish. And she obtained it as the result of Hillary Clinton’s approval.

Abedin also received a security clearance she should not have been granted. Earlier in 2012, Abedin had obtained a pre-approved Top Secret (Critical Sensitive) clearance for her SGE position. According to Judicial Watch, the “revalidation” of her security clearance was directly tied to her pending SGE status. Because she should not have obtained SGE status, she should not (as I understand it) have had her security clearance revalidated.

In sum, as Judicial Watch concludes:

Abedin obtained her “special” job despite her refusal to provide her basic financial information and her agreements and arrangements for future employment. None of this prevented Abedin from getting a scam position and – disturbingly – a coveted Top Secret clearance.

UPDATE: Here are the sections of the applicable disclosures form that, according to Judicial Watch, Abedin and Weiner failed to complete:

Schedule B, Part 1 – Transactions. Report any purchase, sale, or exchange by you, your spouse, or dependent children during the reporting period of any real property, stocks, bonds, commodity futures, and other securities when the amount of the transaction exceeded $1,000. Include transactions that resulted in a loss.

Schedule B, Part 2 – Gifts, Reimbursements, and Travel Expenses. For you, your spouse and dependent children, report the source, a brief description, and the value of: (1) gifts (such as tangible items, transportation, lodging, food, or entertainment) received from one source totaling more than $350 and (2) travel-related cash reimbursements received from one source totaling more than $350.

Schedule C, Part 2 – Agreements or Arrangements. Report your agreements or arrangements for: (1) continuing participation in an employee benefit plan (e.g. pension, 401k, deferred compensation); continuation of payment by a former employer (including severance payments); (3) leaves of absence; and (4) future employment.

Hillary Clinton’s protege simply ignored these core ethics disclosures required by law, and got away with it.

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