Oh, Look. ANOTHER Scandal.

If this story doesn’t end up impacting the 2016 presidential election, then I am going to call shenanigans on the political process. And you should too:

The State Department, under Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, created an arrangement for her longtime aide and confidante Huma Abedin to work for private clients as a consultant while serving as a top adviser in the department.

Ms. Abedin did not disclose the arrangement — or how much income she earned — on her financial report. It requires officials to make public any significant sources of income. An adviser to Mrs. Clinton, Philippe Reines, said that Ms. Abedin was not obligated to do so.

The disclosure of the agreement that Ms. Abedin made with the State Department comes as her husband, former Representative Anthony D. Weiner, a Democrat, prepares for a mayoral run in New York City. Politico reported the arrangement on Thursday afternoon.

Ms. Abedin declined a request for an interview, but the picture that emerges from interviews and records suggests a situation where the lines were blurred between Ms. Abedin’s work in the high echelons of one of the government’s most sensitive executive departments and her role as a Clinton family insider.

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. 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, Ms. Abedin served as a consultant to the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation and worked in a personal capacity for Mrs. Clinton as she prepared to transition out of her job as secretary of state.

It is not clear what role Mrs. Clinton played in approving the arrangement. Some good-government groups have been critical of such situations, saying public employees’ loyalty should be solely to the public and their government work, rather than private firms and figures.

I’ve gotten used to the notion of a revolving door between the public and the private sectors. I don’t much have a problem with the presence of that revolving door; after years in government, it makes sense that people who serve the country may eventually have to go into the private sector to make the money they weren’t making as public servants. Many of those people have families to take care of and kids’ college tuitions to worry about, after all. But I never thought that we would do away with even the pretense of a revolving door by allowing public servants to make money on the side from the private sector while they are ostensibly supposed to be devoting their waking hours to serving the American people.

Hillary Clinton appears to be up to her neck on this issue, as does the Clinton Foundation. Both she and the people who run the foundation ought to answer questions regarding Huma Abedin’s special arrangement. And if Hillary Clinton cannot answer those questions, then in the event that she runs for president, we ought to wonder whether she has the judgment and the ethics to serve honorably in the White House. Oh, and if Anthony Weiner really does end up running for mayor of New York, he might well have more than just some errant tweets to haunt his campaign.

  1. Israel P.

    She obviously needed a second job because her State Department job did not pay her a living wage, especially during the period that her husband was trapped in an underpaid job in Congress.

    The solution to this is easy enough. Give her a raise.

  2. Crow
    Israel P.: She obviously needed a second job because her State Department job did not pay her a living wage, especially during the period that her husband was trapped in an underpaid job in Congress.

    It really is a travesty. The headlines are just chock full of stories of good hearted men and women entering Congress and the upper echelons of government and sacrificing themselves for the public good.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/03/13/us-usa-congress-wealth-idUSN1330776120080313

    [Link function in the toolbar above not functioning in Safari or Firefox at the moment for me]

  3. Simon Templar

    The same Ms. Huma Abedin with direct family connections to the Muslim Brotherhood?

    By Robert Spencer:  “The concerns about the foreign influence of immediate family members is such a concern to the U.S. Government that it includes these factors as potentially disqualifying conditions for obtaining a security clearance, which undoubtedly Ms. Abedin has had to obtain to function in her position. For us to raise issues about a highly-based U.S. Government official with known immediate family connections to foreign extremist organizations is not a question of singling out Ms. Abedin.  In fact, these questions are raised by the U.S. Government of anyone seeking a security clearance.”

    And in Abedin’s case, there are ample reasons for raising these questions. Her father, Syed Z. Abedin, was a professor in Saudi Arabia who founded the Institute for Muslim Minority Affairs, an organization supported by the Muslim World League, a Brotherhood organization. Her mother, Saleha Mahmoud Abedin, is a member of the Muslim Sisterhood, the Brotherhood’s adjunct organization for women. The Brotherhood itself is in its own words, according to a captured internal document, dedicated to “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house.”

  4. Goldgeller

    What a great post. I’m already calling shenanigans on the political process. Government is mainly made to work for the people inside it. This isn’t a left or right issue but big government is there for the people at the switches. It’s very disturbing what has gone on in this country. I thought the debt and the spending was bad– but reasonable people can disagree about the facts and the theories– the government in some sense though has (at least temporarily) dropped the idea of rule of law.

  5. Judith Levy, Ed.
    C

    Bingo, Simon Templar. See Andrew McCarthy:

    Ms. Abedin…served from 1996-2008 as assistant editor of the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, a publication founded by Abdullah Omar Naseef, a major financier of al Qaeda whose Islamic “charity,” the Rabita Trust, is a designated terrorist organization (on which Naseef colluded with Wael Hamza Jalaidan, an Osama bin Laden intimate who is one of al Qaeda’s founders).

    Naseef is a former secretary general of the Muslim World League, which bin Laden described as one of al Qaeda’s primary funding sources. In the late seventies, he retained Abedin’s parents to run his…Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs and edit its journal, which has been an Abedin family affair ever since. For seven years, Naseef overlapped with Huma Abedin at the journal…The journal is still edited by Ms. Abedin’s mother, Dr. Saleha Abedin…Both parents have had deep Muslim Brotherhood ties…Saleha Abedin runs an organization, the International Islamic Committee for Woman and Child, which is a part of the Union of Good — a major Hamas supporter and… a designated terrorist organization run by Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the top Muslim Brotherhood sharia jurist.

  6. Last Outpost on the Right

    The problem is that no one cares.

    I talk to normal people (a.k.a. low-information voters) all the time. I bring up things like Benghazi, the IRS, etc. and none of them have any idea what I’m talking about.

    NONE of them! (imagine my voice getting really high like Peter’s does on the podcast when he’s excited)

    But they remember that Obama filled out an NCAA bracket, and that an couple of basketball players recently announced their sexual orientation.

    If they don’t care, it won’t affect their vote.

  7. iWc

    Meh.

    So the goverment is corrupt. So its employees play both sides of the field. Regularly. I have seen it countless times.

    Sorry, folks. Nothing new here.  And nobody will care. Huma is off-limits for the press, partially because she is exotic, partially because of the hint of a “special” relationship with Hillary. Nobody will touch this story.

  8. Pejman Yousefzadeh
    C

    And a bonus.

    Israel P.: She obviously needed a second job because her State Department job did not pay her a living wage, especially during the period that her husband was trapped in an underpaid job in Congress.

    The solution to this is easy enough. Give her a raise. · 5 hours ago

  9. Duane Oyen

    Be fair, folks.  Huma’s part time State Dept job, 100% accomplished while staying home and changing diapers, paid only $135,000 of US taxpayer money.  Those other gigs had to somehow make up the difference.  Living in Manhattan is expensive.

  10. A Beleaguered Conservative

    To bring this issue up in 2016 would be a sexist, anti-woman, oppressive, white-male attack, leveled against Clinton by bigots who cannot face the prospect of a non-male president.         

  11. Crow
    Pejman Yousefzadeh: I’ve gotten used to the notion of a revolving door between the public and the private sectors. But I never thought that we would do away with even thepretense of a revolving door by allowing public servants to make money on the side from the private sector while they are ostensibly supposed to be devoting their waking hours to serving the American people.

    The “revolving door” has a number legal strictures placed on it, as it ought to. When these erode and break down, its just another sign of the amount of trouble limited, representative government is in.

    One of the reasons that public employees, especially at this level, are supposed to disclose all financial assets is not only to ensure a corporation or some lobbying group–some faction–doesn’t have undue influence in policy, but because there are security clearance issues related to one’s financial status and one’s interests. It’s not only a cronyism question, its a national security concern.

    An arrangement? Under what authority did the State department exempt her from disclosing these sources of income?

    Yet another example of Mrs. Clinton seeming to believe she lives beyond the law.