Hillary Clinton’s long time confidant, Huma Abedin, is sick and tired of you nasty Republicans dragging her good name through the mud and she’s not going to take it anymore. In response to the mean spirited nature of a Senate Committee asking the State Department to produce certain documents related to her time working for the agency, Abedin’s lawyer has sent a letter to Chuck Grassley telling him he needs to knock off his offensive behavior. (New York Times)
A lawyer for Huma Abedin, a top adviser to Hillary Rodham Clinton, has accused Charles E. Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, of damaging Ms. Abedin’s reputation through “unfounded allegations” about her time at the State Department.
The lawyer, Miguel Rodriguez, sent a letter to the State Department on Friday responding forcefully to two sets of questions posed by Mr. Grassley, Republican of Iowa: whether Ms. Abedin, while a department official, had been overpaid during her maternity leave and a vacation, and whether she had demonstrated a conflict of interest by aiding one of her part-time employers through her work at the State Department.
Ms. Abedin was granted permission by the State Department to work as a “special government employee” while also performing work for certain outside clients.
The Gray Lady does an admirable job of sticking up for Huma here and highlighting the various excuses which have been offered on her behalf, but it’s hard to see how she’s going to gain a lot of sympathy outside liberal enclaves. The committee is asking about two separate subjects, both of which deserve at least some level of scrutiny. She may have received permission from the State Department to work two jobs at once, one of which was for a company with ties to her boss and business before the State Department, but given the time period when it took place that’s precisely the same thing as saying she received permission from Hillary Clinton. There’s a shock, your honor.
But the second item under consideration is the truly jaw dropping one in terms of her indignant protests. We covered this story when it first came out and it beggared belief from the outset. During her entire time at State with Hillary, Huma never once took so much as an hour of vacation or sick time. Not once. She was receiving full pay on the taxpayer dime while having a baby and during at least one vacation to Italy. And it was a vacation by definition because she paid for it herself.
“Chairman Grassley also has asked about Ms. Abedin’s 2011 trip to France and Italy,” the letter said. “That trip was intended to be a vacation, and Ms. Abedin personally paid for it.” But, he added, Ms. Abedin — who is married to former Representative Anthony D. Weiner, who resigned from Congress in June 2011 — worked during that trip as well.
So she was “working” during the trip? If you’re drawing full pay, one assumes that you were working your full, normal hours. That doesn’t leave much time for vacation activities, does it? And if that’s the case, how stupid would you have to be to pay for the trip yourself? That would make it a business trip… though we’ve yet to hear what sort of State Department business was being conducted in both France and Italy during that period and why it was being conducted in fancy hotels and vacation resorts.
This is some first class gall on display. If someone collected ten grand in pay for times when they were obviously not working, the vast majority of us would simply be fired and probably hit up for repayment of the fraudulently obtained funds. (And that’s at a minimum. A truly testy employer might take them to court on criminal charges.) But now, just for asking the question and requesting the documents, Abedin has the nerve to send her lawyer out to attack the Senate Judiciary Committee? No wonder she’s such a good fit for the Clinton team. That sort of bravado is rare indeed.