Huma Abedin, one of Hillary Clinton’s top advisers and friends, is turning to the Clinton playbook to stonewall the media and government investigators:
Deny everything you’re accused of — and hire expensive lawyers to make the trouble go away.
In a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Abedin attorney Miguel Rodriguez defended Abedin, the wife of disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner, against charges that she was overpaid for maternity leave, improperly paid while on vacation in Europe and used her pull with the State Department to help get a job for the client of a firm she worked for while with the department, the New York Times reported.
Grassley said emails exist that show former adviser to President Bill Clinton, Douglas J. Band, who owns the firm, Teneo, where Abedin worked as a “special government employee,” pressed Abedin to get a job for one of his clients, Judith Rodin.
The Iowa senator also revealed that the State Department’s inspector general has found Abedin received $10,000 in excess pay during maternity leave, and again during a trip to Italy and France in 2011, according to the Times.
Rodriguez had excuses for all of the allegations in his letter to Grassley, the Times reported.
Mr. Grassley has suggested that emails existed showing that Mr. Band had asked Ms. Abedin to press Mrs. Clinton to seek a White House appointment for Judith Rodin, the head of the Rockefeller Foundation, a Teneo client. Ms. Rodin is a longtime friend of the Clintons.
But Mr. Rodriguez, in his letter on Friday, cited a Washington Post article pointing out that Ms. Rodin, a longtime friend of Mr. Clinton’s, received that White House appointment in 2010, before the Rockefeller Foundation had retained Teneo “and before Teneo hired Abedin.”
Mr. Grassley has also recently disclosed that the State Department’s inspector general had found that Ms. Abedin received nearly $10,000 in excess pay during her maternity leave. But Mr. Rodriguez wrote that Ms. Abedin was contesting that finding because she “extensively worked” during those periods, as the inspector general’s “report itself found.”
“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.
Mr. Rodriguez, in his letter, alluded to a recent report that Mr. Grassley had received information from a confidential source about an internal investigation into Ms. Abedin that was completed in May by the State Department inspector general.
“We are deeply concerned that Chairman Grassley’s letter has unfairly tarnished Ms. Abedin’s reputation by making unsubstantiated allegations that appear to flow from misinformation that Chairman Grassley has been provided by an unnamed — and apparently unreliable — source,” Mr. Rodriguez wrote. Those allegations, he wrote, included the “suggestion that Ms. Abedin has violated any criminal statute.”
Rodriguez also gave a supposed justification for why Band and Abedin were on more than 7,300 of the same emails, stating that the two were on the same mass email lists due to their ties to the Clintons.
“These are but two examples of the unfortunate and unfounded allegations that have been made about Ms. Abedin,” he wrote. “No staffer — indeed, nobody at all — should be subject to such unfounded attacks based on ill-informed leaks, much less someone who has made countless personal sacrifices in distinguished service to the country she loves.”
Denial in the face of overwhelming evidence, while relying on a liberal media for cover is practically a Clinton trademark — it’s how Bill Clinton’s presidency survived impeachment in the 1990s.
If Abedin learned anything at all from her time with Hillary Clinton, it seems like denial is at the top of the list. Second is hiring a lawyer who can make them work.
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