Hold on just so you know Huma Abedin holds that SGE status also…we are slowly finding out so many wild things about our government.
What is an SGE? Special Government Employee, a status for a person established by Congress in 1962 and many agencies use them. Nefarious reasons? Yes, there seems to be some of that perhaps. But read here about how ‘special’ they are.
Financial Conflicts of Interest & Impartiality
- An SGE’s agency can use special waiver provisions to resolve financial conflicts of interest arising under 18 U.S.C. § 208 (a criminal conflict of interest statute prohibiting an employee from participating in any particular Government matter affecting personal or “imputed” financial interests).
- An SGE who is serving on an advisory committee may rely on special exemptions from 18 U.S.C. § 208.
- An SGE is not eligible to receive a certificate of divestiture if required to sell property to resolve a conflict of interest.
Meanwhile, Daniel Richman, a Columbia Law School Professor and that friend of James Comey who received the memos has top secret security clearance which apparently came from the time he also worked at the Justice Department as a former prosecutor and at U.S. Treasury. He later gained that SGE status working for the FBI and was in fact an advisor to James Comey or others at the Bureau. Richman by the way did NOT leak information from those memos to the New York Times, he merely called them and used context for a story clarification as it is told.
Humm okay. But then there is Huma Abedin. And we must ask about Sid Blumenthal, Cody Shearer or John Podesta among others…..
Earlier this year, (2013) Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin drew scrutiny for a special arrangement that allowed her to work part time at the State Department while simultaneously maintaining a side gig working for a corporate consulting firm.
Under the arrangement, first reported by Politico, Abedin was a “special government employee,” a category created decades ago designed to allow experts to serve in government while keeping outside jobs.
So who else is a special government employee at the State Department? The department won’t say — even as eight other federal agencies readily sent us lists of their own special government employees.
A State Department spokeswoman did confirm that there are “about 100” such employees. But asked for a list, she added that, “As general policy, [the department] does not disclose employee information of this nature.”
Meanwhile, after we filed a Freedom of Information Act request in July for the same information, State responded in September that no such list actually exists: The human resources department “does not compile lists of personnel or positions in the category of ‘special government employee.’”
Creating such a list would require “extensive research” and thus the agency is not required to respond under FOIA, said a letter responding to our request.
In late September, after we told State we were going to publish a story on its refusal to provide the list, the agency said our FOIA request was being reopened. The agency said it would provide the records in a few weeks.
The State Department has since pushed back the delivery date three times and still hasn’t provided any list. It has been four months since we filed the original request.
Several other agencies, including the Energy and Commerce departments, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commission, promptly responded to similar FOIA requests with lists of their own special government employees. Requests with several other agencies are still pending.
Agencies reported having anywhere from just one special government employee (SEC) to nearly 400 over the past several years (Energy Department). Many are academics, interns, or private industry professionals and they often serve on government advisory boards.
As for the State Department, two other special government employees have been identified recently, and both are former Clinton staffers. As of August ex-chief of staff Cheryl Mills was still working at the agency part time with a focus on Haiti, according to the Washington Post’s Al Kamen. Maggie Williams, who ran Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, worked at the agency’s Office of Global Women’s Issues in 2011 and 2012, according to Politico.
Abedin, for her part, was a special government employee between June 2012 when she resigned her position as deputy chief of staff, to February 2013. She also worked for Teneo, a consulting firm founded by former Bill Clinton aide Doug Band.
In a July letter to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-IA, Abedin rejected the Senator’s suggestion that she had used her government contacts to provide political intelligence for Teneo’s clients.
“I was not asked, nor did I undertake, any work on Teneo’s behalf before the Department,” Abedin wrote. She said her work consisted of providing “strategic advice and consulting services to the firm’s management team.”
(The New Republic recently explored at length the web of connections between Teneo, the Clinton Foundation, and various wealthy individuals and corporations.)
Abedin said in the letter she sought the special arrangement with State because she wanted to spend the bulk of her time at home in New York following the birth of her son in December 2011.
Abedin made $135,000 working for State in 2012, and she and husband ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner made approximately $355,000 in combined additional earnings. We don’t know how much Abedin was paid by Teneo or by the Clinton Foundation, which also employed her during this period.
Following time off during Weiner’s unsuccessful New York City mayoral bid, Abedin is now working directly for Clinton, in a private capacity, as her “Transition Director.”