An investigation may have found evidence a top State Department aide to Hillary Clinton took advantage of government employment rules with potential conflicts of interest and overpayments.
In a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry Thursday, Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said an inspector general probe suggested Huma Abedin leveraged her State Department job to benefit her two other employers at the time: the Clinton Foundation and a consulting firm called Teneo Strategies.
Teneo Strategies was founded by a longtime aide to Bill Clinton, Douglas Band, and boasted the former president as a paid board member when it first launched in 2011.
Abedin allegedly sent or received more than 7,000 emails on her government account that involved Band, the letter said.
As an example of the potential conflicts of interest at play, Grassley cited an email exchange in which Band pressed Abedin to encourage her State Department boss, Hillary Clinton, to facilitate a White House appointment for one of his clients.
Judith Rodin, the Teneo client in question, was then president of the Rockefeller Foundation, "which donated hundreds of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation, a fact which Mr. Band allegedly noted in his email to Ms. Abedin," the letter said.
"[E]mail evidence allegedly suggests that Ms. Abedin and Ms. Mills shared a desire to find a way to ensure the Department paid for Ms. Abedin's travel to and from New York," the letter continued.
Grassley called into question a $33,000 payment Abedin received from the State Department for leave she hadn't used.
The Iowa Republican highlighted multiple allegations received by the Judiciary Committee that indicated Abedin had indeed taken leave during her time as a government employee, casting doubt on whether Abedin should have received $33,000 in taxpayer money.
Abedin worked as a full-time staffer to Hillary Clinton from January 2009 until June 2012, at which point she was given a "special government employee" designation and soon took on roles at the Clinton Foundation and Teneo.
That designation is designed to allow individuals who fill "an unmet government need for rare or unique expertise" to retain their private-sector positions while receiving compensation from the government.
But Abedin has drawn fire for the SGE arrangement that gave her heavy influence over Hillary Clinton's schedule and travel while allowing her to serve as a senior adviser at Teneo.
Critics have said the personnel rule was quietly bent to permit Abedin to collect her government paycheck while wielding her influence to the benefit of her other employers.
For example, Hillary Clinton jetted to Ireland with Abedin at her side for her last official trip as secretary, during which she attended an event hosted by a major Clinton Foundation donor that had been promoted by Teneo.
The State Department's inspector general began looking into the issue of Abedin's SGE designation in 2013, Grassley indicated in a letter to Abedin Thursday.
"The Committee has learned of allegations that, during your simultaneous employment by the Department of State, Teneo, and the Clinton Foundation, you were solicited for and delivered favors for preferred individuals," Grassley wrote to Abedin.
Abedin was reportedly among several key aides to Hillary Clinton that hosted email accounts on a private server in the presidential candidate's New York home in violation of federal records laws.