JW Sues for Records on Controversial State Department Consulting Agreement for Former Clinton Aide Huma Abedin
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that on September 5, 2013, it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Obama Department of State seeking access to all records detailing contracts between the State Department and Abedin, as well as the Clinton aide’s outside employment while under contract with the agency (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)).
Pursuant to its May 21, 2013, 2011, FOIA request, Judicial Watch seeks access to the following records:
1) Any and all SF-50 (Notification of Personnel Actions forms for Ms. Huma Abedin.
2) Any and all contracts (including, but not limited to, personnel service contracts) between the Department of State and Ms. Huma Abedin.
3) Any and all records regarding, concerning, or related to the authorization for Ms. Huma Abedin to represent individual clients and/or otherwise engage in outside employment while employed by and/or engaged in a contractual arrangement with the Department of State.
The State Department acknowledged receiving Judicial Watch’s FOIA request on June 5, 2013, and was required by law to respond within 20 working days. However, as of the date of Judicial Watch’s lawsuit, State has failed to respond in accordance with FOIA law.
Abedin left the State Department in February 2013, and in May 2013, Politico broke the story that, since June 2012, she had been working as a “special government employee” (SGE), a consultant position allowing her to represent outside clients while continuing as a top adviser at State. While working as an SGE, 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.
While Abedin has failed to disclose the exact nature of her work on behalf of Teneo, the firm 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, Zurich, and Munich. Teneo was also the subject of various investigative reports, including by the New York Times, that raise questions about its relationship with the Clinton Foundation.
“As is so often the case with the Clintons, or those close to them, Ms. Abedin’s questionable dealings are wrapped in secrecy,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The State Department’s stonewall on Abedin suggests that there is something to hide.”