Grassley Adds to State Department Questions Amid Newly Disclosed Emails
WASHINGTON -- Sen. Chuck Grassley is continuing his inquiry into State Department personnel practices amid newly disclosed emails showing the intersection of official actions and private business involving a top aide who was working for the State Department as a Special Government Employee, an outside firm, Teneo, and the Clinton Foundation at the same time.
“How can the taxpayer know who exactly SGEs 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 the top aide, Huma Abedin.
Grassley pointed out that in a letter to the Department of State on July 5, 2013, in response to a Grassley inquiry, Abedin wrote: “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.”
Grassley wrote that emails newly disclosed through a Freedom of Information of Act lawsuit regarding a trip to Ireland by Clinton include State Department, Teneo and Clinton Foundation employees and so “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.”
Grassley asked a series of questions to try to shed light on the State Department business that intersected with Teneo and Clinton Foundation business.
“The bottom line has always been and still is whether the taxpayers are well-served by agency practices and spending,” Grassley said. “No one will know for sure until the State Department is more transparent about how it operates.”