NEW YORK – The 7,000 Hillary Clinton emails the State Department made public earlier this month provide evidence that longtime aide Huma Abedin was the nexus between the former secretary of state and various Clinton Foundation scandals.
Abedin, while a State Department employee, authored numerous emails that kept Hillary Clinton apprised of Clinton Foundation activities and in touch with key people in the Clinton sphere of influence, including Doug Band, President Bill Clinton’s former “body man.” Band went on to head the consultant firm Teneo that employed Abedin while she worked for Clinton at the State Department.
The emails reveal Abedin continued to interact with individuals connected with Teneo and the Clinton Foundation, even after she was deemed a “special government employee” in a part-time consultancy with the State Department in the summer of 2012, following her return from maternity leave, Politico reported.
WND has reported extensively on Abedin's Muslim Brotherhood family background and political affiliations, raising the question of how she might have influenced Middle East policy.
On Aug. 13, Politico reported Abedin hired a team of lawyers to defend her continued access to Clinton’s private email server, even after she became a part-time contractor with the State Department.
Suspicious Abedin emails
Among the 7,000 emails, is a chain of messages that circulated between Abedin, top State Department officials, Clinton Foundation principals and Teneo employees.
An email dated April 26, 2010, with the subject line “Bad News” was authored by Clinton and addressed to Abedin and two other State Department employees using their State Department email addresses.
This email forwards an email Doug Band, head of Teneo, had addressed to Abedin as well as to the following recipients:
- John Podesta, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and the current chairman of the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign;
- Cheryl Mills, then chief of staff to Secretary Clinton;
- Justin Cooper, a Teneo associate who was a former Hillary Clinton aide that Judicial Watch names as linked to registration documents for Hillary Clinton’s private email server; and
- Hannah Richert, director of the Immediate Office of the President at the Clinton Presidential Center.
The email, however, is so heavily redacted that its content is not discernable.
An Aug. 22, 2009, message from Abedin to Hillary Clinton forwarded another heavily redacted memo from State Department aide Oscar Flores that had been addressed to Abedin, Doug Band, and Justin Cooper with a subject line that read simply “Tonight.”
Emails circulating between Clinton, Abedin, Mills and State Department employees associated with Teneo include several concerning Haiti.
On May 8, 2009, Mills copied Abedin and Clinton on an email she sent to Nora Toiv, a State Department employee who had previously worked at Teneo, forwarding a message Band had sent that same day to Mills and Abedin, with a forward to Justin Cooper. The subject line read: “WJC (William J. Clinton) just told secgen [U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon] that he would do Haiti special envoy.”
Peter Schweizer, in his book “Clinton Cash,” devoted a chapter to Haiti in which he argued Bill Clinton’s appointment as U.N. special envoy to the island nation in 2009 positioned him to take personal financial advantage of aftermath of the 2010 earthquake.
Another email in the Hillary Clinton-Abedin-Teneo-Clinton Foundation chain involves Haim Saban, the billionaire Israeli media mogul best known for creating the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
After Hillary Clinton became secretary of state, the State Department objected to a consultancy arrangement Saban had proposed for Bill Clinton. State Department ethics adviser James Thessin cited concerns about conflicts of interest as a reason for blocking Bill Clinton’s proposed speaking engagements and consultancy agreements.
On June 20, 2010, Saban sent an email to Band, Abedin and other recipients, whose names have been redacted, that complained about an opinion piece media mogul Mortimer Zuckerman, chairman and editor-in-chief of U.S. News & World Report, had published sharply criticizing President Obama, titled “Mort Zuckerman: World Sees Obama as Incompetent and Amateur.”
In his email, Saban said to Band and Abedin: “WOW!!!! What a hatchet job … this is the very strong “Coffee party” … forget the tea party … they’re chicken sh** compared to this. Just the title …”
On the same day, Abedin forwarded the Saban email to Hillary Clinton with a simple note that said, “From Haim.”
During that time, as Jillian Kay Melchior wrote in National Review May 11, 2015, the Saban Family Foundation gave the Clinton Foundation more than $7 million and listed $30.5 million in “grants and contributions approved for future payment,” according to nonprofit records filed with the Internal Revenue Service.
Melchior said it's unclear whether there was any overlap between the $7 million paid and $30.5 million committed to the Clinton Foundation in those years.
As evidence that Abedin’s email chains continued after her “special government employment” status with the State Department began, a heavily redacted Sept. 24, 2012, email written by Jacob Sullivan to Clinton was copied to Abedin. It began a series of emails that include a Reuters article on Libya forwarded to Cheryl Mills by Nora Toiv.
Sullivan was Clinton's deputy chief of staff.
The only line left not redacted in the original Sullivan email read, “Hopefully Mon or Huma can work these in teleprompter.” “Mon” is a reference to Monica Hanley, a State Department aide to Clinton.
The Washington Times reported Sept. 3 that nearly one-third of the Clinton’s emails known to have classified information came from Sullivan, who currently is the top foreign policy adviser to her presidential campaign.
'Huma the nexus'
On May 16, 2013, the New York Times reported the State Department under Clinton created an arrangement for Abedin to work for private clients while she served as a State Department employee.
“While continuing her work at the State Department, in the latter half of 2012, she also worked for Teneo, a strategic consulting firm, which was founded by Doug Band, a former adviser to President Bill Clinton,” reporter Raymond Hernandez wrote in the Times. “Teneo has advised corporate clients like Coca-Cola and MF Global, the collapsed brokerage firm run by Jon S. Corzine, a former governor of New Jersey.”
At the same time, Abedin served as a consultant to the Clinton Foundation and worked in a personal capacity for Hillary Clinton as she prepared to transition out of her job as secretary of state, Hernandez noted.
Abedin’s outside employment has not escaped the attention of Wall Street investor and analyst Charles Ortel, who noted in an investigative report on the Clinton Foundation that Abedin, while employed at the State Department, actually held four jobs simultaneously.
“A trusted aide of Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, secured permission to work simultaneously as a Special Government Employee for the U.S. State Department, in an unexplained capacity for the Clinton Foundation, in an unexplained capacity for Teneo Holdings, and in a personal capacity for Mrs. Clinton,” Ortel wrote. “These unusual arrangements spanned a period from approximately June 2012 through approximately February 2013.”
Prior to the State Department's release of the emails – largely as a result of FOIA requests and court motions by Washington-based watchdog Judicial Watch – Ortel told WND he anticipated they would produce evidence Hillary Clinton had tasked Abedin with keeping her in touch with Clinton Foundation fundraising opportunities and Teneo client connections.
“Particularly for the period before and after the Annual Meeting for CGI, held in New York City during September 2012, investigators will want to examine Mrs. Abedin’s role in all business attempted or concluded by Teneo Holdings, with any contributor to CGI, and more broadly, her role and that of her relations by blood and by marriage in any business transaction, at any time, with any contributor to any part of the Clinton Foundation, and its constituent elements,” Ortel wrote in his First Interim Report.
Grassley questions Abedin
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, has been conducting an inquiry into State Department personnel practices amid newly disclosed emails showing the intersection of official actions and private business involving Abedin.
“How can the taxpayer know who exactly SGEs (Special Government Employees) are working for at any given moment? How can the ethics officer at the State Department know?” Grassley wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry and similarly, in a letter to Abedin.
Grassley pointed out that in a letter to the Department of State on July 5, 2013, Abedin wrote in response to a Grassley inquiry: “I was not asked, nor did I undertake, any work on Teneo’s behalf before the Department (and I should note that it is my understanding that Teneo does not conduct business with the Department of State). I was also not asked, nor did I provide, insights about the Department, my work with the Secretary, or any government information to which I may have had access.”
In a press release dated Aug. 27, posted on his Senate website, Grassley noted that emails newly disclosed through a Freedom of Information of Act lawsuit “raise a number of questions about the intersection of official State Department actions, private Teneo business, and Secretary Clinton’s personal interest in fundraising for the Clinton Foundation and related entities.”