Revealed: State Department IG issued subpoena to Clinton Foundation
The State Department inspector general issued a subpoena last fall targeting the Clinton Foundation and some of the charitable events hosted by the organization. The I.G. is looking into whether some of those events required the permission of the federal government.
But the suboena's primary target appears to be Hillary Clinton's top aide, Huma Abedin, who was drawing a salary from the State Department at the same time she was working for the Foundation while on maternity leave.
A foundation representative, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing inquiry, said the initial document request had been narrowed by investigators and that the foundation is not the focus of the probe.
A State IG spokesman declined to comment on that assessment or on the subpoena.
Representatives for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and Abedin also declined comment.
There is no indication that the watchdog is looking at Clinton. But as she runs for president in part by promoting her leadership of the State Department, an inquiry involving a top aide and the relationship between her agency and her family’s charity could further complicate her campaign.
For months, Clinton has wrangled with controversy over her use of a private email server, which has sparked a separate investigation by the same State Department inspector general’s office. There is also an FBI investigation into whether her system compromised national security.
Clinton was asked about the FBI investigation at a debate last week and said she was “100 percent confident” nothing would come of it. Last month, Clinton denied a Fox News report that the FBI had expanded its probe to include ties between the foundation and the State Department. She called that report “an unsourced, irresponsible” claim with “no basis.”
Apparently something a little more than “an unsourced, irresponsible” story.
But it is Abedin’s double-dipping that has attracted the attention of both Congress and the I.G.:
Abedin served as deputy chief of staff at State starting in 2009. For the second half of 2012, she participated in the “special government employee” program that enabled her to work simultaneously in the State Department, the foundation, Hillary Clinton’s personal office and Teneo, a private consultancy with close ties to the Clintons.
Abedin has been a visible part of Hillary Clinton’s world since she served as an intern in the 1990s for the then-first lady while attending George Washington University. On the campaign trail, Clinton is rarely seen in public without Abedin somewhere nearby.
Republican lawmakers have alleged that foreign officials and other powerful interests with business before the U.S. government gave large donations to the Clinton Foundation to curry favor with a sitting secretary of state and a potential future president.
Both Clintons have dismissed those accusations, saying donors contributed to the $2 billion foundation to support its core missions: improving health care, education and environmental work around the world.
Of course, those countries contributed all that money and didn't expect anything in return. It’s obvious that the Clintons’ powers of persuasion to get these countries’ leaders to donate out of the goodness of their hearts overcame any grubby, tawdry intentions to get something in return.
The Clintons have used the Foundation as a slush fund for years, living high and accumulating power in anticipation of the big moment when Hillary Clinton would take the family back to the White House.
At the moment, that grand plan appears to be in doubt.