Huma Abedin and the web of influence-peddling revealed in newly released emails

The slow-motion exposure of emails related to Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of State is revealing the way things get done at the upper reaches of government and society, and it is a very ugly picture, indeed.  Most Americans (75%) now believe that corruption is widespread in government, and they don’t know the half of it.  Newly released emails obtained by Politico reveal how correct they are, and as the old saying goes, the scandal isn’t so much the laws that may have been broken, but what is legal and perfectly normal these days among the power elite.

Rachel Bade of Politico traces the web of influence-peddling centered on “consulting” firm Teneo, which eventually employed Hillary’s very close aide, Huma Adedin (aka Mrs. Anthony Weiner, aka Señora Carlos Danger), while she was still on the public payroll, in a highly questionable arrangement.  The object of the emails was to obtain an unsalaried presidential appointment for a client of the firm.  What makes this all the more revealing is that the client was the head of a big-money nonprofit, Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation.  This taxpayer-subsidized, purportedly public-spirited organization paid Teneo 5.7 million dollars in 2012 alone!  That’s an awful lot of “public relations work.”  Why is money being diverted from medical research or whatever to an influence-peddler, in order to burnish the résumé of the president of the foundation?  Oh, and one more thing: the Rockefeller Foundation is a “huge” donor to the Clinton Foundation.

The emails tell quite a story:

In the April 10, 2012, exchange, Teneo President Doug Band — a close confidant of Bill Clinton — asked Abedin to help him get Rodin nominated to the President’s Global Development Council, an unpaid post.

The Rockefeller Foundation at the time was both a Teneo client and a Clinton Foundation donor — and Band made that point in his email to Abedin.

The email subject line read: “She is expecting us to help her get appointed to this.”

“Judy rodin,” he wrote to Abedin in the shorthand email. “Huge foundation/cgi supporter and close pal of wjc[.] Teneo reps her as well[.] Can you help?”

“Wjc” is often used as shorthand for Bill Clinton. And “foundation,” likely means Clinton Foundation. (snip)

In the message to Abedin, Band forwarded along the full conversation, whereby multiple Teneo employees openly discussed who in power they could contact to help get their client Rodin assigned to the new post.

“Could someone from [Sen. Chuck] Schumer’s office place a call to the WH?” Orson Porter, senior vice president of Teneo, asked Tom Shea, the managing director.

“Doug is willing to push with Valerie or HRC, but I can’t find out who the decision maker is,” Shea replied, perhaps referring to Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama.

Eventually, Porter sent the email up the chain to Band.

“Hey brother — it’s been a lift in the [W]hite [H]ouse,” he wrote to Band. “She is not on anyone’s friend list — VJ’s office promised to send it up the flag pole, but they will need to hear from someone outside of us — I keep pushing Tom to have a congressional office send a note. Do you think Bruce Reed would be helpful?”

Reed was Vice President Joe Biden’s chief of staff.

Porter, in a separate message a few minutes later, told Band “a [H]uma call to USAID would be helpful.”

Band forwarded that to Abedin with his short note.

More than a month later, Teneo checked up on their request. Forwarding the entire conversation again to Band, Orson wrote on May 22: “DB, I haven’t heard anything from the WH on this appointment (Judy R_. Did you have any luck with the State Department?”

Band again forwarded that to Abedin, who two days later sent the message to her Clinton email. (snip)

Ken Miller, who would go on to become a senior adviser or with Teneo Holdings, reached out to Abedin to arrange “a time to discuss Doug Band and Teneo” sometime in early July 2012. It appears he was considering an opportunity with the company and wanted her take.

“I am considering doing something with them and would value your perspective,” Miller, then president of Ken Miller Capital, wrote July 2, 2012.

As Politico notes, it is still unclear when Huma began her work for Teneo.  But whether or not she was in an active conflict of interest at this point, these emails establish conclusively that millions of nonprofit dollars were changing hands as influence was attempted to be exercised to win a favor and prestige for a foundation executive.  The picture is one of people operating at the pinnacle of institutional prestige in order to enhance their position in the power elite, and using vast resources donated as “charity.”