The one thing Hillary Clinton was no doubt looking forward to was some sort of scandal which might affect her presidential candidacy, particularly given how smooth and drama free it’s been thus far. (/snark) The State Department’s Inspector General has raised questions about Huma Abedin’s pay records while serving under Hillary Clinton during her tenure as Secretary of State. Oddly, the records appear to indicate that over a span of four years she never once took a sick day or even went on vacation. My, my… that’s some serious dedication. (Fox News)
One of Hillary Clinton’s top aides was reportedly overpaid by nearly $10,000 because of violations of rules that govern vacation and sick time during her time as an official in the State Department, according to investigators.
The Washington Post reports the finding emerged on Friday after Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley sent letters to Secretary of State John Kerry, among others, about an investigation into possible “criminal” conduct by Huma Abedin over her pay.
The letters also sought the status of an investigation into whether Abedin violated conflict-of-interest laws related to her work for the State Department, the Clinton Foundation and another private firm founded by a Clinton ally, according to The Post.
Abedin left State at the same time as Hillary and is now a top member of her campaign staff, but during the period in question she was an employee of the federal government drawing a very nice salary, the tab for which was picked up by the taxpayers. Chuck Grassley has already raised some interesting questions, particularly the fact that Huma was allegedly in Italy on vacation for at least ten days at one point. What’s not revealed is if she was paid back for unused vacation, either at the end of each year or when she left the State Department. If she was, then clearly she was committing theft of public money through time and attendance fraud, as noted in Grassley’s response.
Perhaps even more curious is the arrangement where Abedin was defined has having a “special government employee status” which allowed her to concurrently hold down one job at the Clinton Foundation and a second one at Teneo, a firm run by a former aide to Bill Clinton. This gives a whole new meaning to the concept of triple dipping. Wasn’t her work at the State Department a full time job? She was certainly collecting a full time salary. Where was she finding time to work on these other projects while still collecting a government paycheck?
As Grassley notes, we may never know. Some of the correspondence which may have shed light on it probably disappeared down the memory hole of Hillary’s private server.
In the letters, Grassley also contends Clinton’s private email server interfered with the investigation.
“The OIG had reason to believe that email evidence relevant to that inquiry was contained in emails Ms. Abedin sent and received from her account on Secretary Clinton’s non-government server, making them unavailable to the OIG through its normal statutory right of access records,” he wrote.
It’s not the Secretary of State’s personal responsibility to check the time sheets of every employee in the department, so I’m not sure if you can pin this directly on Clinton beyond the fact that the captain is always the one responsible if the ship hits an iceberg. But it beggars belief that Hillary Clinton didn’t know that her closest confidant was working at her own charitable foundation. It’s also a rather dubious proposal to assume she didn’t know Huma was also collecting a paycheck from one of Bill’s cronies.
Assuming the allegations prove out, what does Hillary do next? This is one of her closest held and most loyal soldiers dating back for decades. But can a presidential candidate keep someone on the payroll after they are found to have committed theft of taxpayer money by fraud? Given their history, however, I suppose it wouldn’t be too shocking for Clinton to just thumb her nose at everyone and say that she’s keeping Huma on, that it’s all just a plot by Republicans and that Abedin will be a top staffer in the White House after she’s elected president.