From Washington Examiner
The tabloid headlines were all about the compulsive sexting of former Congressman and New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner and the decision of his wife (and Hillary Clinton aide) Huma Abedin’s decision to seek a legal separation from him.
Presumably that sells papers. But buried beneath the headlines and noted in passing is something voters might want to consider: the fact that during Clinton’s years as secretary of state, Abedin was a “triple-dipper.”
In June 2012, after Weiner resigned from Congress after the first revelations of his sexting, Abedin was granted “special government employee” status which allowed her to work and collect money from the Clinton Foundation and from the Teneo consulting firm founded by Bill Clinton’s close aide Doug Band at the same time she was being paid as a top aide to Secretary of State Clinton.
This was an unusual arrangement. Government appointees are usually required to resign from their previous jobs, and contracts granting them deferred compensation need to be renegotiated. The reason is obvious: They shouldn’t be serving two masters.
The reason for Abedin’s triple-dipping seems obvious as well: She wanted more money. It’s expensive to maintain homes in both New York and Washington, especially when your spouse is out of a job. (Although it’s cheaper if you move from a Manhattan apartment to one in Weiner’s Brooklyn/Queens district.)
But why did Clinton agree to (insist on?) this arrangement? Sen. Charles Grassley has been asking this question since 2013. He has noted that ordinarily “special government employees” are not allowed to hold this status for more than 130 days, but Abedin triple-dipped for up to 245 days.
“Congress specified a time restriction for a reason,” Grassley said recently. “Special government employees are supposed to temporarily offer specialized expertise that the taxpayers can’t get anywhere else. The time restriction makes clear they’re not supposed to be paid indefinitely while working for the private sector at the same time.”
The private sector in this case, of course, was the Clinton Foundation, which was paying Abedin something presumably in the six-figures for looking after its interests, which of course were by definition not entirely congruent with the government’s.
The State Department, in response to a federal judge’s order to disclose all papers relating to this decision by Sept. 30, says it hasn’t found any yet. No surprise there. Surely the hope in some quarters is that any papers won’t turn up until after Nov. 8.
Abedin, as the home-brew server email traffic has revealed, was clearly a conduit for the pay-to-play system in which Clinton Foundation donors received favorable treatment from the secretary of state. But perhaps creepy as well is a suggested overdependence by her boss.
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