The swirling vortex of Hillary Clinton’s scandal-ridden past may sink one of her top aides for illegally dipping into the public trough, despite investigators’ being thwarted by Clinton’s missing emails.
Investigators found that Huma Abedin, vice chairwoman of Clinton’s presidential campaign, probably was overpaid by nearly $10,000 because of violations of rules governing vacation and sick time while she served as an official in the State Department, according to a Washington Post story Friday.
The finding emerged publicly after Sen. Chuck Grassley — chairman of the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee — sent letters, which were obtained by the newspaper, to Secretary of State John Kerry and others about an investigation into possible “criminal” conduct by Abedin.
Grassley’s letters sought the status of a months-long inquiry into Abedin’s “special employment situation,” which allowed her to work simultaneously for the State Department, the Clinton Foundation, and a private firm closely tied to the Clintons. Many of Abedin’s email exchanges were sent through Clinton’s private email server.
According to Grassley’s description of the investigation, Abedin’s time sheets indicated that she never took vacation or sick leave during her four years at the State Department, from January 2009 to February 2013. But the investigation, the senator wrote, found evidence that Abedin did take time off, including a 10-day trip to Italy, and that she told colleagues in emails that she was out “on leave.”
The Post reported that in letters sent Thursday to Kerry, Abebin, and the Office of Inspector General, Grassley wrote that the staff of the inspector general had found “at least a reasonable suspicion of a violation” of the law concerning the “theft of public money through time and attendance fraud” as well as “conflicts of interest connecting to her overlapping employment.”
Abedin, who is married to disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner, has formally contested the finding.
The Clinton campaign, along with the State Department’s Office of Inspector General, and State Department, all refused to comment on the investigation.