“Senate Republicans are renewing efforts to learn why Huma Abedin, a top assistant to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was allowed to keep working at the agency under a special, part-time status while also being employed at a politically-connected consulting firm. The new requests are being made by Iowa GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, following revelations that both women used a private internet service and email accounts for State Department correspondence.
“Grassley says that the earlier requests to the department have been largely ignored, so the new ones have gone to the department’s inspector general and to Secretary of State John Kerry, seeking their involvement. Grassley’s probe started in 2013, when he requested all communications between Abedin, after she switched from a full-time deputy chief of staff for Clinton to a part-timer, then started working for Teneo, a consulting firm that says it “brings together the disciplines of government and public affairs.”
“A July 2013 letter from the department to Grassley, provided by the senator’s office, states Abedin worked full-time from January 2009 to June 2012. It also states Abedin did not list outside employment upon ending her full-time employment and that the department retained her as an adviser-expert at the hourly rate of a SGA GS-15/10. The most recent available federal documents show the rate as $74.51 with a maximum pay of $155,500 annually.
“The letter to department Inspector General Steve Linick also questions whether the department’s “excessive” use of SGE designations undermines ethics standards and if Abedin and Clinton’s private emails have the potential to impede the department from fulfilling Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, requests, over which the upper chamber’s Judiciary Committee has legislative jurisdiction.
Oddly enough, when asked by Newslo to comment on her assistant and their emails, Clinton, who is known for having a sharp tongue in almost every occasion, refused to do so. The former Secretary of State kept quiet even when Newslo’s reporter continued to insist with the question. However, she did finally comment, and rather angrily, on the question of whether her silence was to be taken as a sign of something more between the former First Lady and her mysterious assistant.
Clinton said: “How dare you ask me such a question? I most certainly did not have sexual relations with that woman. Mine and Huma Abedin’s relationship is strictly professional and I don’t know where you get such ideas. Oh, wait a minute…have you been talking to my husband? Never mind,” she concluded and left in a hurry.