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Huma Abedin, former Secretary of State Hillary’s Clinton’s long time aide with extensive ties to Muslim Brotherhood groups, was granted an arrangement by the State Department to do outside consulting work, even as she remained a top advisor in the Department. Abedin did not disclose either the arrangement, or how much she earned from it, on her financial report, despite a requirement that public officials must disclose significant sources of income. Clinton advisor Philippe Reines contended she was under no obligation to do so.
Abedin, who has served Clinton for 15 years, became a “special government employee” when she returned from maternity leave in June 2012, according to an unidentified source familiar with the arrangement. According to several sources who spoke to Politico, Abedin did work for outside clients, and one of her friends confirmed they totaled four entities in all: the State Department, Hillary Clinton, the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation and Teneo, a firm co-founded by Doug Band, a former counselor for Bill Clinton.
Teneo, which promotes itself as a company that “brings together the disciplines of government and public affairs, investor and public relations and investment banking advisory in an integrated approach that allows us to provide clients with unparalleled strategic counsel and operational support,” has advised clients such as Coca Cola and MF Global, the brokerage firm that went bankrupt while it was being run by Jon Corzine, former Governor of New Jersey, and big-donor “bundler” for Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.
The disclosure was revealed as Abedin’s husband, disgraced former Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner, has begun preparations for a New York City mayoral run next year in an attempt to resuscitate his career. The city’s Conflict of Interest Board requires mayoral candidates to disclose personal financial information, including spousal sources of income, but that part of a candidate’s filing is not made public. Furthermore, because Abedin relinquished her job as deputy chief of staff last June, that change abrogated her requirement to disclose private earnings for the rest of the year on her own disclosure forms. The change of Abedin’s employment status was done so quietly, she continued to be identified in news reports as employed in her former job. On March 1, Abedin was tapped to run Clinton’s post-State Department transition team, comprised of a six-person “transition office” located in Washington.
Good government groups have questioned the potential conflict of interest that representing the public, while maintaining private clients, suggests. “If she was being held out as a deputy chief of staff, it would be highly unusual for her to be a part-time employee or a consultant,” said Melanie Sloane, executive director of CREW, an ethics watchdog group. “Being a deputy chief of staff at the State Department is generally considered more than a full-time job.”
It is not clear what role, if any, Hillary Clinton played in approving Abedin’s transition to her new job. State Department officials, as well as people who work with the Clintons, refused to talk on the record about the arrangement. And while Weiner released a copy of the couple’s 2012 tax return revealing income of more than $490,000, he also declined to discuss what portion of that income was earned by Abedin apart from her job at State, which paid her around $135,000 for the year. The remaining amount of approximately $365,000 combines consulting fees for both husband and wife, sources said.
The change in Abedin’s status permitted her to work from home in New York, rather than at the State Department’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., allowing her to spend more time with her husband and child. While Abedin was pregnant, Weiner was forced to resign from his congressional seat when it was discovered that he had Tweeted sexually charged messages, as well as nude photos of himself, to several women. Weiner vehemently denied the allegations at first, saying his account had been hacked. But mounting political pressure forced him to admit the truth and abruptly resign.
Abedin’s arrangement is similar to those of other Clinton loyalists who received compensation for their work on Clinton’s government staff, and her political action committee, while she was a U.S. Senator from New York. Furthermore, while there is no exact number of State Department officials who have a similar arrangement, a Department source told Politico it was “not uncommon.”
Perhaps not. But Abedin is anything but a common government employee. While the mainstream media remains temporarily focused on Abedin’s role with regard to her husband’s political campaign, it remains calculatingly incurious about her work with the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation, and the tens of millions of dollars in donations it has received from such entities as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the governments of Kuwait and Qatar, Saudi businessman Nasser Al-Rashid, who has close ties to the Saudi royal family, Sheikh Mohammed H. Al-Amoudi, reputed to be one of the richest men in the world, and a group called Friends of Saudi Arabia and the Dubai Foundation.
Abedin’s earlier career also remains below the radar as well. She began working with Hillary Clinton in 1996, as the then-First Lady’s intern. She remained a loyal staffer as Clinton transitioned to the Senate, and the State Department.
During part of that time, Abedin had another job as well. From 1996-2008, she also worked as assistant editor of the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs (JMMA), a publication founded by Abdullah Omar Naseef.
Naseef was also secretary general of the Muslim World League in Saudi Arabia, a highly significant Muslim Brotherhood organization Osama Bin Laden once characterized as one of his terrorist group’s chief funding sources.
Using that connection, Naseef founded the Rabita Trust, a designated terrorist organization. In the late seventies, he hired Abedin’s parents to run his newly formed Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (IMMA). Editing its journal has remained a family enterprise to this day, and Naseef’s tenure as a member of the journal’s advisory editorial board, seven years of which coincided with Huma’s Abedin’s tenure there, lasted until 2003–the same year he was named as a defendant in a civil case brought by victims of 9/11. Naseef was dropped from the suit in 2010, when a court decided it lacked jurisdiction over him.
Dr. Saleha Abedin, Huma’s mother, still edits the JMMA. She took over when Huma’s father, Syed Zainul Abedin, passed away. Both of Abedin’s parents, as well as her brother, Hassan Abedin, have deep, documented ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Furthermore, her mother runs the International Islamic Committee for Woman and Child, which is part of yet another terror-designated organization known as the Union of Good.
It remains impossible to understand how Abedin received security clearance to work at the State Department, which allows her access to top-secret documents. Even if one makes the case that she should not be tainted by the dubious relationships maintained by her family members, it is impossible to disassociate her from her own relationship with Abdullah Omar Naseef and his organization.
Yet in a testament to the power of PC-inspired denial, when these and other sordid relationships were documented in a letter sent by Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), and Tom Rooney (R-FL) to the State Department’s Deputy Inspector General, politicians in both parties, as well as the mainstream media, accused Bachmann of engaging in a McCarthy-esque smear campaign.
The letter to the Inspector General was sent in June, the same month Abedin relinquished her position as deputy chief of staff. Whether one assumes this to be a mere coincidence or not, there is no denying that Abedin’s change in status was kept secret for nearly a year. The Obama administration could quickly put an end to this controversy by revealing the contents of Abedin’s responses contained in Standard Form 86, a “Questionnaire for National Security Positions.” That questionnaire should have been completed prior to Abedin serving in her capacity at State beginning in 2009.
No doubt a State Department up to its neck in the Benghazi scandal is too busy to respond.
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