Judicial Watch: New State Department Emails Reveal Clinton Aide Huma Abedin Failed to Provide Financial and Employment Information As Required By Law
OCTOBER 16, 2015
Abedin Received Top Secret Clearance Renewal in Anticipation of SGE Position
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that on October 13, 2015, it received new documents from the Department of State, including an email from the agency’s top financial disclosure official revealing that then-Secretary Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin failed to produce important financial transaction records of her husband, former Rep. Anthony Weiner, as required by law before obtaining her position as a special government employee (SGE) in 2012. Abedin also failed to provide any information on future employment. The records also show that Abedin received a Top Secret clearance renewal in anticipation of her SGE position.
The records were uncovered as a result of a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit that seeks records about the controversial employment status of Abedin (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)).
In February 2014, the State Department assured Judicial Watch that it had searched several individual offices of the department, including the office of the Executive Secretariat, which would have included the Office of the Secretary of State. Relying upon the State Department’s representation that the agency conducted a reasonable search – which Judicial Watch later learned to be untrue, Judicial Watch agreed to dismiss its lawsuit on March 14, 2014. Judge Emmet Sullivan reopened the lawsuit on June 19, 2015, in response to revelations about Clinton’s separate email system. (Judicial Watch will be requesting that discovery take place to determine whether all emails from the clintonemail.com server have been returned to the State Department and have been reviewed to determine whether they are responsive to Judicial Watch’s FOIA request.)
Abedin had been repeatedly reminded of the need for the records to be included in the OGE Form 278 Executive Branch Personnel Public Financial Disclosure Report as part of her termination agreement with DOS. But, according to a June 5, 2012, email from State Department Financial Disclosures Chief Sarah Taylor, Abedin failed to produce key sections of the records even after her appointment as a SGE had been approved on June 3.
On June 5, 2012, Taylor sent the following email to Heather Samuelson and Marcela Green, both 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:”
Her 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.
The sections of the OGE 278 financial disclosures form that Abedin and Weiner failed to complete were:
- 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.
The records show that Abedin had a pre-approved Top Secret (Critical Sensitive) clearance for her special government employment position on March 20, 2012. The “revalidation” of her security clearance was directly tied to her pending SGE status. (The clearance document shows that Abedin’s original security clearance investigation and approval took place on the same day – February 4, 2009.)
On September 24, Judicial Watch released new records indicating that Abedin had failed to provide Weiner’s full financial disclosure records as required by law, despite repeated requests from State’s Human Resources and Financial Disclosures divisions. The records also indicate Clinton personally signed the authorization for Huma Abedin, her then-deputy chief of staff, to become a special government employee. The documents also raised questions about whether Abedin’s position complied with federal law that prevents special government positions created for work already performed by current employees.
The State Department produced these records after performing a second search of State Department offices. The first search, conducted in early 2014, produced only eight pages.
“Huma Abedin, with the direct help of Hillary Clinton, obtained a sweetheart government job in violation of the law,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The Obama State Department tells us it has given us all the documents they have concerning the Abedin employment controversy, which means that 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.”
Politico reported that, since June 2012, Abedin had been double-dipping, working as a consultant to outside clients while continuing as a top adviser at State. Abedin’s outside clients included 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 reported “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.” [Emphasis added] Outside of the U.S., it maintains offices in Dubai, London, Dublin, Hong Kong, Brussels, Washington, and Beijing. Teneo was also the subject of various investigative reports, including by the New York Times, which raise questions about its relationship with the Clinton Foundation. Today, Politico reports that other State Department documents show Abedin was asked to help both the Foundation and Teneo in April 2012.